Date posted: 16/08/2023

CA ANZ launches Gender Equity Charter and Playbook

A new resource designed to support the profession in advancing and achieving gender equity.

Achieving Gender Equity, Together

Today I’m asking our profession to stand with us in making gender equity a strategic business priority. As we launch the Chartered Accountants ANZ Gender Equity Charter and Playbook, our bold ambition is to gather the profession around a common purpose of advancing gender equity, together.

As a profession we can celebrate our progress towards gender parity, 44% of CA ANZ members are women – jumping to 52% for those progressing through the CA Program. Now it is time to focus our efforts on the bigger challenge: achieving gender equity.

Over the last few years, we’ve been tracking several data points which clearly demonstrate that women have more negative experiences in our workplaces, compared to men. They get paid less. Are more likely to experience physical harm at work. They are more likely to feel undermined, undervalued or unfairly spoken over.

Talking about a problem doesn’t solve it. We recognise the need to take action.

This is why we have developed the Gender Equity Charter and Playbook and are inviting members and employers to join us in being upstanders for inclusion. It’s designed to help shift the dial around women feeling valued, safe and respected, and experience equity in their workplace.

We have socialised it with CA ANZ Regional Councils, panels and D&I member committees and the resounding feedback received has been that this is a positive and meaningful initiative.

Together, let’s send a powerful message to the wider community that we’re committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive profession, where everyone belongs and where everyone can progress in their careers. To support employers who may wish to adopt the Charter, or make similar gender equity commitments of their own, we’ve included a Playbook with practical guidance for taking real action.

It’s one of the strategic components of our multi-year Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) strategy. Anchoring gender equity as our first member-focused initiative will have positive impacts and benefits for people from other diversity dimensions, including those with intersectional lived experiences, for example in paying attention to the impacts of unconscious bias.

It’s about support, not shaming

The 10 focus areas of the Charter and Playbook are designed to help employers identify gaps and create action plans that have a demonstrable impact on the inclusion experiences of women. They range from making gender equity a strategic business priority and tracking and monitoring gender equity progress through a range of measures, to working to identify and remove unconscious bias in attitudes, systems and processes, while actively creating safe and respectful workplace cultures.

As the professional body for our industry, we’re committed to supporting our members with strengthening their gender equity outcomes, using the Charter and accompanying Playbook to help identify where they need support. And we will continue to provide guidance, tools, support and resources to help us all achieve these changes.

By reading, adopting and implementing the Charter in your business, or upholding a gender equity commitment of your own, you join a community of like-minded organisations advancing equity and inclusion in the workplace.

I also want to stress that this commitment requires more than endorsing a piece of paper. It requires employers to examine attitudes and practices and take actions that will bring about meaningful change – the accompanying Playbook has been specifically designed to be practical and actionable.

Closing the gaps for women in our profession means there is work ahead for everyone. Some organisations may be starting out their journey, others may have already made it a focus. Wherever you are starting from, I urge all our members to take the time to read the Gender Equity Charter and Playbook and support it in your own organisation.

Together, we can create a more equitable and inclusive profession that benefits us all.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Gender Equity Charter and Playbook or CA ANZ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, please reach out to [email protected].