The Circle In Future of Work survey revealed that the post COVID-19 workforce belongs to organisations that hardwire flexibility and inclusion in their business strategy. These organisations will be rewarded with a more engaged and loyal workforce and have their pick of top talent.
While many organisations across the globe are examining the hows and whys of D&I, L’Oréal Australia has been setting best practice and leading the way in this field. For L’Oréal, D&I is far more than simply a tick-the-box exercise – it’s a business and brand imperative, and culture starts at the top.
As we approach two years partnering with L’Oréal Australia, we take a look at how policy and community combine to cultivate a diverse workforce and an environment of belonging at Australia’s largest beauty group. We speak with Amanda Knox, Compensation & Benefits Manager and Marnie Carroll, Head of Corporate Communications, to gain some insight.
L’Oréal Australia has implemented ambitious diversity and inclusion policy. What steps have been taken to embed that policy, and cultivate a culture that celebrates diversity and makes individuals feel included?
For many years, L’Oréal Australia has focused on gender equality as a key part of our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) program, along with other elements such as LGBTIQ+ community support and programs to support vulnerable members of society.
Regarding gender equality, we’re delighted that over the past few years flexibility has become the norm within our workplace culture. It is not seen or communicated as a benefit, but rather as a standard for everyone at L’Oréal Australia. A key driver of this has been the outstanding leadership of our Managing Director, Rodrigo Pizarro, who has championed flexibility and has been visible with his own flexible work arrangements.
In 2019, L’Oréal Australia updated policy to offer equal paid parental leave of 12 weeks to primary and secondary carers. How have new parents in your organisation responded to this incredible benefit and what impact has it had on families?
This new policy was extremely well received. We’ve found this to have the greatest impact on our male employees which is important for gender equality because often this enables females to return to the workforce.
We’ve had a number of senior males utilise the 12 weeks of leave and, just recently, Alexander Bachem, Brand Business Lead for Garnier Skincare, began his parental leave with his son Leo. You can read more about this on our Instagram here. We’re excited to profile these positive stories and role model this for all teams.
L’Oréal has been recognised for its achievements in D&I. What are some of the fundamental policies that you recommend other companies put in place to make progress in this field?
Having a clear vision that feeds into an equality charter is extremely important as it sets the standard for the organisation and what commitments you make to your employees in this space.
Some of the key policies and procedures we have, which sit under and support our vision, are:
- Recruitment policy – with a focus on equality with interview panels and candidates.
- Annual remuneration review – which ensures we actively monitor the gender pay gap.
- Clear promotion pathways – ensuring these are communicated and available to all employees.
- A wide variety of benefits to support and reward all employees.
How has your partnership with Circle In (and utilisation of the Parents Portal) helped your focus on D&I – especially with the working parent demographic?
Our partnership with Circle In has had a number benefits for our employees and our company. It has helped us focus on and design ways to support employees who are carers. It has facilitated building a community and has encouraged storytelling to share best practices. In addition, Circle In has been an invaluable knowledge resource and has provided practical guidance for our employees.
How are you measuring the impact of your efforts?
We are committed to always striving to build on and improve our gender equality and we look to external organisations to assess our policies, practices and culture.
We have been recognised with the international EDGE Certification as well as the local WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality accreditation.
We also ensure we gather feedback from our employees each year to understand where we are doing well and any areas for focus and improvement.
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