For Downer to deliver the best possible outcomes for our customers and communities, we need a workforce that is diverse, capable and engaged.
Supporting the wellbeing of our people and promoting an inclusive and diverse culture are vital to maintaining a competitive advantage and ensuring our success into the future.
We strive for inclusiveness for our diverse workforce of 52,000 people and aim to build a flexible work environment where our people are fulfilled and challenged.
It’s Downer’s people who deliver our services, build trusted relationships with our customers and enhance Downer’s reputation as industry leaders. We are committed to investing in them.
Just as we aim to improve our customers’ assets and the communities in which we operate, we also aim to improve our people and offer them rich career development opportunities. We do this by ensuring they have the right skills, are provided opportunities to develop new capabilities, and are surrounded by a healthy workplace culture that is collaborative and supportive.
We are committed to empowering our people to find innovative, safer and more efficient ways of working. Our people need to keep up with evolving technology and customer preferences and we support them with effective and innovative training to help build the right skills for future success.
We provide competitive remuneration and employee benefits to reward our people for their proficiency and dedication to delivering our business strategy and sustaining our long-term success. Our remuneration approach is intended to motivate our people to embrace Downer’s Purpose, Promise and Pillars, while also ensuring we promote gender pay equity practices.
Government spend remains healthy within the sectors Downer operates in, which continues to stretch the already limited skilled labour talent pool. This fact, combined with Downer’s large workforce, increases the importance of providing an inclusive workplace that not only attracts a skilled workforce but also recognises and retains this talent long-term.
The performance information in this section includes Downer, its contractors and Downer employees involved in unincorporated joint ventures in the following business lines: Australian Operations, Spotless and New Zealand including Hawkins.
Downer employs approximately 51,000 people across Australia and New Zealand, plus fewer than 1,000 people across other international markets. 53 per cent of our workforce is covered by collective agreements across the Australian and New Zealand markets. Our people have the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining and we maintain constructive relationships with multiple unions that participate in the sectors we operate in.
By employment contract, 53 per cent of our workforce is permanent, with 47 per cent contingent workers.
Despite the unexpected impacts of COVID-19 and Australia’s bushfires, a number of key objectives were delivered in 2020 including:
- Launching Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training (ICAT) to all supervisors and above
- Focusing on selected Indigenous partnerships, such as with Bama Services
- Becoming a Workplace Gender Equity Agency (WGEA) pay ambassador
- Adding R U OK? Day and Harmony Day to Downer’s Groupwide events of significance. Other events include International Women’s Day, NAIDOC Week, National Reconciliation Week, Matariki and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week)
- Embedding Downer’s Graduate Program across the company (the program was listed 44th in The Australian Financial Review’s list of top 100 programs).
Indigenous procurement supplier agreements increased from 85 in 2019 to 103 in 2020, improving overall spend within Downer’s Australian Operations, as below:
Downer understands the importance of being recognised as an employer of choice. This is validated by our materiality assessment, which ranked ‘Talent attraction and retention’ in Downer’s top five material issues.
Supporting our people to succeed
Diversity and inclusion
We believe all our people should have the opportunity to thrive and fulfil their potential in an inclusive and diverse workplace.
The overarching Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy is to foster an inclusive culture. We aim for a workforce where everybody owns and celebrates their differences, because these differences in viewpoints and critical thinking are what allow our business to continue to innovate.
Our large government customer base is also fully committed to cultural inclusion, with many of our projects reporting diversity data on a quarterly basis to customers for governmental reports.
We employ, develop and promote people based on merit. Our practices, processes and systems are developed to empower equitable and fair treatment. We do not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying, and our employees are trained to recognise and mitigate potential bias towards any employee.
At Downer, we believe in equal pay for work of equal value and closing the gender pay gap. To help address gender pay disparities within Australia, we have taken steps to reduce potential bias in recruitment and conduct an annual gender pay review, the results of which are reported through the annual Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) report.
Owning our differences
Downer’s Graduate program has been the cornerstone of our generational diversity focus since its inception in 2017. It is a two-year program in which graduates undertake rotations and gain experience across the Downer Group.
In FY20, the program continued to grow. It is now embedded in our strategic talent and capability development strategy and has matured in both process and organisational capability.
Downer’s total workforce profile is 35 per cent female and 65 per cent male. As at 30 June 2020, our female employee metrics, including Spotless, were:
Overall, women in management positions remained stable and the recruitment and promotion of talented women will continue to be a focus for the next period to enable progress towards targets. This is reflected in the proposed initiatives to support diversity and inclusion for FY21.