WesCEF - Diversity and inclusion

At WesCEF, promoting gender balance and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island representation is central to delivering a diverse workplace that can help improve productivity, team dynamics and innovation.

Other pillars of diversity are being explored to build a culture of true belonging. This goal is further underpinned by key legislative changes that occurred during the 2023 financial year, such as the new Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Act 2022 and the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023, which directly impact WesCEF’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and priorities. To support these changes and ensure business compliance, action plans are being developed to create awareness and inform leaders about how WesCEF can enhance its inclusive work environment.

Gender balance and inclusion

WesCEF has made positive progress during the year in gender balance with an increase in representation of women across the workforce from 36.0 per cent to 36.8 per cent.

WesCEF has maintained a focus on improving gender balance through recruitment and pipeline development opportunities for vacation students, cadets, graduates, apprentices and trainees in professions that tend to have lower female representation, including engineering and digital and data science. In the 2023 financial year, WesCEF’s vacation program included 14 students, of which 42.9 per cent were female. As of 30 June 2023, 37.5 per cent of WesCEF apprentices were female.

WesCEF will continue its ongoing commitment to 50/50 gender balanced interview shortlists and providing flexible working arrangements, as well as enabling secondments and job rotations into different teams or job families to enable skill broadening.

More broadly, WesCEF’s team member recognition program ’Thanks’ encourages team members to nominate colleagues who demonstrate excellence in safety, innovation or living WesCEF’s values. More than 470 nominations were received for this year’s program. The annual Thanks Awards ceremony to announce winners in each category was livestreamed across WesCEF to encourage a sense of inclusion and celebration.

A review of internal diversity and inclusion targets and regular reporting within WesCEF on progress against these targets are planned for the coming year.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation and engagement

During the year, WesCEF implemented a Cultural Learning Framework, which for the first time included cultural immersion opportunities. These are interactive learning experiences, such as yarning sessions with community members or teaching Noongar language to team members.

WesCEF recognises embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork into workplace environments helps create welcoming and inclusive spaces. A contemporary mural was completed at CSBP’s Kwinana site on a large external wall of the Ammonia/Ammonium Nitrate central control building. Indigenous and non-Indigenous team members participated in the design of the mural. Artworks produced by Indigenous team members during a Noongar art workshop were exhibited in the CSBP Kwinana cafeteria as part of NAIDOC celebrations.

Offering culturally appropriate support is an important part of retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members. This can come in many forms, including mentors, skills development, support with personal and work-related issues and providing healing workshops. During the year, the WesCEF Aboriginal Affairs and the Health and Safety teams worked together to organise access to Indigenous psychologists as part of the organisation’s existing Employee Assistance Program service. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team member turnover reduced from 22.4 per cent at 30 June 2022 to 17.7 per cent on a rolling 12-month basis (R12) as of 30 June 2023. This compares to WesCEF’s overall team member total turnover of 15.0 per cent on a R12 basis as of 30 June 2023. WesCEF’s Aboriginal Employee Network continues to operate, which brings together Indigenous team members to help build relationships and develop support networks.

WesCEF also supported an increase in resourcing of its Aboriginal Affairs team. The team meets quarterly with the senior leadership teams in each business to inform and create awareness of Aboriginal Affairs activities, resources and statistics. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team member representation as of 30 June 2023 was 3.4 per cent, consistent with the 2022 financial year result.

WesCEF is finalising an Aboriginal Affairs strategy to complement the Wesfarmers Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), ensuring a strong connection between the business, its workforce and local Indigenous communities.