Our Diversity and Inclusion strategy outlines four objectives with one of these focused on maximising diversity in leadership positions, in particular the proportion of women in management roles. In November 2018, Stockland achieved a significant milestone of at least 40% women in every level of governance or management (including Board, Executive, General Manager, Senior Manager, Manager level), considered as balanced gender leadership (40/40/20).
Amongst the policies and programs contributing to this achievement is the Senior Women’s Sponsorship program. The objective of this program is to connect talented, high-potential senior female managers with an Executive member, who can advocate for their career development and help make valuable connections. Ultimately, this program progresses gender equality in General Manager and Executive roles, whilst supporting our Executive team tobuild their gender leadership capability and understand the challenges, barriers and aspirations of senior talented women within the business. All Executive members participate in the program, investing their time and experience to champion gender-balanced career progression.
Since its 2017 inception, 26 senior women have participated (or are currently participating) in the program. Always looking to improve, we made key enhancements to the program in FY19 based on participant feedback, including extending the program from 12 to 18 months and incorporating a more structured Learning and Development approach to assist with career planning, learning and development.
To date, 50% of program participants have been promoted to more senior roles with almost 40% of these to General Manager positions.We are proud that our General Manager female population has risen from 30.6% in FY16 to 39.3%, reflecting the success of this program and our broader gender equity initiatives.
We have also been able to validate the link between gender diversity and team engagement levels, with our 2018 employee engagement survey showing that our most gender balanced teams (teams where the percentage of women is between 40% and 60%) are our most engaged teams, with high levels of job satisfaction.
Overall, the program has produced many successful outcomes including new cross functional project opportunities and promotions for participants and it remains a key element of our Gender Equity and leadership strategy at Stockland.