We are marking today’s International Women’s Day with a new commitment to improve gender equality at Telstra by introducing a requirement that recruitment and interview shortlists include at least 50% female representation.

The change, which sets a new standard of operational rigor, is about attracting and retaining more women in our team, addressing gender imbalances and building our female talent pipeline.

We simply must work harder to create new opportunities for women to participate including accommodating diverse needs, working preferences and creating new career paths for both men and women to re-enter the workforce.

Gender equality is something Telstra has long been committed to.

Over many years and through a range of initiatives we have tried to improve the gender balance of our team which today sits at 69.4% male.

We have made good progress with gender balanced shortlists to date, which currently average 33% female representation, however we are well short of our 50% target.

While gender equality is influenced by everyone, the role of men is significant here, and this is something I strongly believe in as part of my commitment to the Male Champions of Change.

Today’s announcement adds to initiatives like All Roles Flex, our annual pay gap analysis, gender equality employee network and work to help stop violence against women.

Under the new commitment, where recruitment shortlists do not have a minimum 50% female representation (or 25% in some specified roles where there is a known significant gender imbalance in the job market) within 3 weeks of the role being advertised consideration will be given to extending the advertising period before sign-off is required to move to the interview stage.

There is no universal or easy answer to create greater gender equality in our workforce but the cumulative effect of these initiatives can make a difference.

In a very real way they also go to the heart of who we are as a company and bring together the lived experience of our diversity and inclusion policies and our determination to create change through bold ideas and actions.