As a business we truly live through our values, working together as a family, and maintaining an inclusive, supportive and safe environment for everyone.
Recently we published our new D&I initiatives, these initiatives have led us to be a finalist in the ARN Diversity and Inclusion awards two years in a row (2021 and 2022), and one of our team members was personally nominated for the Shining Star awards in this category in 2020.
Creating a workspace that is welcoming and supportive to everyone is very important to us so we are proud to have been recognised for our efforts in this space by ARN.
Here's an update on the new D&I initiatives we have implemented:
Acknowledgement of Country
As a business, we believe it is our duty to respect and acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we operate. As a small token of this duty, we have installed an Acknowledgement of Country sign in our office in Collingwood, and are in the process of installing them in our other offices.
Optional Pronouns in Email Signatures
We provide our team with the option of adding their chosen pronouns to their email signatures, we believe this is just the starting point to show everyone that we support them, regardless of their gender identity.
Diversity Council of Australia member
Recently we have joined the Diversity Council of Australia. We are excited to have the guidance and support on our D&I journey from an organisation that has such an important mission. The Diversity Council of Australia provides resources from templates to events that help organisations build their D&I stance.
Abolished Gender Pay Gap
We are extremely excited to announce the like-for-like-role gender pay gap at Powernet does not exist. Though overall we still have a gender pay gap, due to our industry being male-dominated, we are proud to be doing better than most in this space. We hope to increase diversity in our team through our gender equality strategy and diversity centred recruitment process.
Holiday Swap Program
Our team come from various walks of life and celebrate different holidays. As a business, we recognise this and offer our team the option to swap public holidays with a day of their choosing. We believe this represents the level of care we have for our team and the support we hope to provide to everyone in living their lives true to their beliefs at work, and at home.
Our breastfeeding room has been turned into a dual-purpose parent and prayer room, including prayer mats, an expressing chair, fridge for milk storage. It is important to us as a business, that everyone feels comfortable being themselves and have access to the resources to do so at work.
Microsoft's Women Rising Program
In 2021 we enrolled two of our female leaders and our CEO in Microsoft's Women Rising Program, the program highlights many issues that women face in the workplace and offers guidance on how to work past those issues. It was such a success that we are now offering the program to all female leaders, and those who manage women in our business.
Paid Parental Leave
Starting and expanding a family is an exciting, and tiring time. Family is one of our core values and we pride ourselves on providing as much support as we can to our team during a time of big change. Powernet offers 4 weeks full pay or 8 weeks at half pay for the primary caregiver and 2 weeks full pay or 4 weeks at half pay for the secondary care giver.
Accredited Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace
On the 6th of October 2020, Powernet officially received accreditation as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace (BFW), a program facilitated by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA).
The process involved creating expressing rooms in our offices across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, supplying educational material to our team members and developing a breastfeeding policy. Our expressing rooms meet the ABA's standards of privacy, locks, comfortable chair and cleaning supplies, with an accessible fridge. Though this was a simple and inexpensive task, it can make an enormous effort to our team members who return to work after having a baby.
A Certifed Great Place to Work
In December 2017 Powernet was certified as a Great Place to Work®. Providing an environment for our team that is productive, fun, and safe and gives everyone the opportunity to learn and grow is important to us, which is why we still maintain this accreditation today.
Corporate Partnership with Headspace
In July 2021 Powernet partnered with Headspace, providing our entire team free access to meditation, exercise videos, mindfulness activities for children and much more. Work-life balance is vital, particularly in today's working from home environment, giving our team access to this resource, that may have been otherwise inaccessible to them is something we are proud to offer.
Employee EAP Offering through Acacia
We know that life doesn't always go to plan and that sometimes we need support. In November 2019 Powernet partnered with Acacia to provide our team with free, anonymous counselling services. Providing this service to our team is one way of showing our support as a business when it's needed.
Diverse teams are more successful and it is no secret that IT support teams are traditionally occupied by mostly men. We are committed to creating a diverse workforce and providing everyone, of all genders, backgrounds and identities the opportunity to work with us.
Though we do not meet the minimum employee count for official accreditation, in 2021 we decided to bring our business in line with the WGEA compliance requirements.
Thus far, through this initiative we have introduced a new Recruitment Policy, added the option for our team members to have their chosen pronouns in their email signature, created a Gender Equality Strategy, Gender Equality Policy are voluntarily publishing our gender pay gap among many other programs.
"To progress gender equality further we must also continue to challenge the beliefs and attitudes that are undermining progress. We must expand our focus on workplace flexibility and be more innovative and creative in how we overcome the barriers that women and gender diverse individuals face," says Bernard Moran, CEO at Powernet.
Forming part of our WGEA compliance project we have launched an Equality Council. This council is responsible for the implementation of our Gender Equality Strategy and coming up with new ways to create a more inclusive workplace. They also kicked off our Design a Mug challenge, in honour and support of PRIDE month.
Here is the winning design:
The Biting Truth, Step Challenges & Voluntary Body Composition Scans
Our Community Engagement Committee is always looking for new ways to bring our team together and provide them with fun and interesting resources.
Our team have held many company-wide quizzes, and participated in The Biting Truth involving a 1-hour seminar with a registered dietician on how to create a healthy meal, followed by a 4-week healthy eating competition. We visited our friends in New Zealand in a step challenge and we provided free optional body scans, giving our team members insight into their body composition. We also ran a Fit24 challenge.
‘Powernet hopes to lead by example in this space, we would like to see diversity and inclusion worked on, across the Managed IT Support and Services industry’ says Bernard Moran CEO at Powernet.