Media Release

Leaders’ commitment and action accelerates inclusive gender equality
Champions of Change Coalition 2023 Impact Report

EMBARGOED 21 November 2023

The Champions of Change Coalition has released its sixth Annual Impact Report demonstrating an overall increase in women’s representation across its 260 Members, including 194 reporting organisations.

Improvements in women’s representation were recorded in categories including: CEO, Head of Business, Key Management Personnel, General Managers, Senior Managers, Non-managers, and Board.

Gender balance (40:40:20) in the executive leadership teams (ELT) of ASX 200 Champions of Change Members continues to outpace the ASX 200 overall with gender balanced ELTs in 39% of ASX 200 Champions of Change Members compared to 28% for the ASX 200 Overall.*

Since Founder Elizabeth Broderick AO established the Champions of Change in 2010, Coalition Members have prioritised investing in collective action and partnerships to develop system-wide and sustainable change towards a more gender equal and inclusive future.

In 2023, the Coalition also released a refreshed strategy with a bold new vision to achieve inclusive gender equality across workplaces by 2030, capturing the ambition and potential of the Coalition’s 260 Members to help lead transformational change on gender equality within a generation.

Members continue to implement high impact actions to advance cultures of inclusive gender equality within their organisations. For example, through progress on innovative systems and processes for preventing and effectively responding to sexual harassment in the workplace – an issue the Coalition has been focused on for over 6 years.

Australia’s nation-wide drive to close the Gender Pay Gap remains a priority for the Coalition, particularly by working with new and transitioning sectors where there is the opportunity to intentionally build gender equality into the future of work.

“We’ve learned that systemic and sustainable change on gender equality in the workplace can only be achieved through leadership commitment and action at an organisational, sector and national level and it is heartening to see whole sectors stepping up to this challenge together,” said Elizabeth Broderick AO, Founder and Convenor, Champions of Change Coalition.

In partnership with the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Coalition convened 21 leaders from the energy sector who will work within and across their organisations to increase the representation of women at all levels.

“We want to help ensure women’s expertise, innovation and insights are harnessed to lead and support Australia’s trillion-dollar energy transition, while also equally benefitting from it,” said James Fazzino, Co-Convenor of the Energy Champions of Change.

Being accountable and transparent is core to the Champions of Change strategy. The Coalition’s Annual Impact report is the largest voluntary disclosure on key measures of gender equality in the workplace in the world.

The 2023 Annual Impact Report details progress and actions advancing inclusive gender equality, in key focus areas over the course of the year, highlights include:

Gender equal and diverse (40:40:20) workforces

  • 98.1% of organisations have systems in place to address bias and ensure equality in recruitment and promotion processes, up from 94.3% in 2022

  • 79.1% of Members expect all leaders in their organisation to routinely sponsor diverse women, up from 74.7% in 2022

Cultures of care, safety, respect, and belonging

  • 94.9% of organisations have policies or initiatives in place to enable equal and flexible access to parental leave for all parents, up from 91.1% in 2022

  • 74.1% of organisations have a strategy with policy settings in place to improve men’s uptake of parental leave, up from 60.8% in 2022
  • 75.9% of organisations implement initiatives (other than carer’s leave) to support employees with caring responsibilities beyond parenting, up from 67.1% in 2022
  • 69% of organisations pay superannuation to employees during periods of both paid and unpaid parental leave, up from 60.8% in 2022

Preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment

  • 94.9% of board or executive leadership teams have articulated to the organisation the commitment to eradicating sexual harassment with a zero-tolerance position, up from 86.1% in 2022
  • 87.3% of organisations’ Board or Executive leadership teams have established regular reporting on sexual harassment (both cultural indicators and incidents) into their regular reporting cycle, up from 77.2% in 2022
  • 91.1% of organisations have adapted workplace health and safety strategies and processes to incorporate sexual harassment as a physical and psychological safety issue, up from 74.1% in 2022
  • 73.4% of organisations have undertaken risk assessments including cultural reviews, sexual harassment–specific surveys, or other robust diagnostics to identify high-risk cohorts or behaviours, up from 57.6% in 2022
  • 93.7% of organisations have up to date tools, training and education provided to employees to help them identify sexual harassment and know how to respond, up from 86.7% in 2022
  • 96.2% of Member organisations have reviewed reporting options to ensure multiple, confidential avenues for employees impacted by sexual harassment, up from 87.3% in 2022
  • 87.3% of organisations invested in building the capability of internal contacts/advisory teams on sexual harassment prevention and response or expanded relationships with external support services, up from 76.6% in 2022

Equality and inclusion is embedded in what we deliver

  • 91.8% of Members have reviewed the public “face” of their organisation to ensure they are presenting a respectful and inclusive environment for women, up from 85.4% in 2022

  • 95.6% of Member organisations have initiatives in place to support employees experiencing, or supporting family/friends experiencing, domestic and family violence, up from 91.1% in 2022

“Across the world, women’s rights and human rights are under threat. Economic, environmental, social, geopolitical, health and digital disruptions are at times seen as competing with gender equality as a leadership priority, yet each issue disproportionately impacts women and girls. In this environment, it is truly heartening to see leaders in the Australian Government, the women’s sector, business, academia and our communities aligned in pursuit of inclusive gender equality,” said Annika Freyer, CEO Champions of Change Coalition.

The Champions of Change Coalition includes CEOs, Secretaries of Government Departments, Non-Executive Directors and community leaders who believe gender equality is a major business, economic, societal, and human rights issue. The Champions of Change Coalition is a globally recognised, innovative strategy for achieving gender equality, advancing more and diverse women in leadership and building respectful and inclusive workplaces. Established in 2010 by Elizabeth Broderick AO, our mission is to achieve inclusive gender equality across workplaces by 2030 and a significant and sustainable increase in the representation of women in leadership.

Many of the actions developed and implemented as part of the Champions of Change strategy are now globally accepted standards for organisations wishing to become employers of choice for all, including mainstreaming flexibility; employer action on domestic and family violence; and specific and granular reporting on gender equality.

* ASX 200 Executive Leadership teams data CEW Senior Executive Census 2017 – 2023

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