This year’s International Women’s Day is focused on pressing for progress towards gender parity, encouraging everyone to think, act and be gender inclusive.
It’s a well-known fact that inclusiveness and equality have proven benefits for businesses and society more broadly.
While gender parity won’t happen overnight, we’re contributing to making positive gains at AMP. In fact, AMP has a long history of striving for gender equality.
"I’m very proud to work for an organisation where we invite and encourage diversity."
In 1905, AMP began employing women to build the large workforce needed to process the small premiums collected from thousands of industrial policyholders.
This attracted criticism from the public and media at the time, including a letter from the public to the editor of the Sydney Telegraph with the heading ‘March of the Skirt’. It said, ‘This is another instance of women filling positions which, from all ethical and economic points of view’ should be filled by males.’ Another wrote, ‘I fail to see why the Society at this stage should call in the services of female clerks. For over 50 years the Society has got along very well without them and it is surely out of place to introduce them now.’
A leader in equal pay
In the 1970s, AMP became a leader in giving women equal pay in Australia. And from the beginning of 1974, AMP reclassified jobs to ensure the nature of the work, rather than the age or gender of the person undertaking it, would determine the salary paid.
Progress towards gender diversity
Today we have big gender diversity targets in place at AMP – you can read more about them here, and we’ve already made great progress with our Board under the guidance of our Chairman, Catherine Brenner, and women holding more than 40% of positions on the AMP management team. Our goal is to have women hold 50% of our middle manager roles and 47% of our senior executive roles by the end of 2020. We have a clear plan to accelerate progress through active sponsorship of our female talent, transforming our recruitment and appointment practices and mainstreaming flexible work.
And this year we were again named an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Equality Agency.
While we’re working towards a set of goals, I’m very proud to work for an organisation where we invite and encourage diversity and believe this will only help AMP to lead the way as we’ve done throughout our history.
Helen Livesey is Group Executive, Public Affairs and Chief of Staff at AMP.
Pictured: New female employees attending a training course in Queensland, 1970.