International Women's Day: An Ampol perspective

By Meaghan Davis, Executive General Manager, People and Culture 

"Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity" – International Women's Day, 8 March 2023

Our world today has a myriad of significant days that mark and celebrate the important role of diversity in business and across our society. These events are opportunities to pause and reflect on positive progress, while highlighting areas where there is further work to do.

For me, International Women's Day (IWD) is no different. There have been many milestones across our history and in recent years to advance the equality and equity of women in society. At the same time, by many critical measures – be they in employment, workforce participation, education or healthcare outcomes – there is still significant work to be done. 
At Ampol, diversity and inclusion play an important part in how we operate as an organisation. They are attributes that are central to our ongoing success and underpin our efforts to maintain the culture we need to deliver on our strategy.  

The reality is we have diverse customers, employees and operate in communities across the country which is fantastic for different thoughts, perspectives and creativity. By breaking down barriers, we allow space for all of our people to be themselves and to thrive at work.

Gender is a key pillar of Ampol's diversity and inclusion strategy, and on IWD it's important to note the work we are currently undertaking in this space. 

Firstly, our set goal of 40% female representation in senior leadership positions is complemented by another, that women hold no less than 30% of board positions. These targets provide an important marker of our progress and clarity on work still required. At the end of 2022, women represented 37% of all senior leadership positions while female representation on Ampol's Board of Directors is 33%. 

Across the broader community, we know there continues to be a gender pay gap which impacts women negatively. This is driven by both a lower representation of women in senior and high-paying roles, and women being paid less than men for the same work.

For these reasons, we are committed to increasing female representation in senior roles and managing our gender-based pay differential in like-for-like roles to be between +/_ 1%. At the end of 2022, our gender pay differential was 1.3% (in favour of males on a like-for-like basis), an improvement on 2021 but still above our target. 

A key part of our strategy is ensuring we continue to attract talented women into our business and that our people have the support they need to continue to grow.

Our strong connection with the National Network for Women in Operations, which aims to see gender diversity valued and balanced at every level of operations, guarantees that mentoring and coaching is readily available to our women in operational roles. 

We also maintain a relationship with Work180 to help us uphold a good gender representation when attracting new talent to the organisation. We were proud to be recently named in the Work180's Top 101 Employers for Women in Australia. 

Then of course, there's our very own Women Inspiring Fresh Ideas (WIFI) community. WIFI is an inclusive, employee-led group that supports the empowerment of women and provides a space for participants to network internally and externally, and to debate, discuss and celebrate diversity.

Founded in December 2015 by Ampol Project Director Deb Scown, the group's vision was to connect colleagues and create a network to empower women on their journey in both career and life. 

The theme of International Women's Day in 2023 is 'Embrace Equity'. A key focus of WIFI is being inclusive of all genders and roles, and engaging individuals everywhere we operate. It is about creating an environment where our people are heard and supported, whatever their ambitions or backgrounds.

I am proud to say WIFI has evolved immensely over the years and is now run by a committee of six employees that focus activity in three key focus areas – network, connect and empower. 

While other organisations may have employee groups focused on gender, it has been inspiring for me to witness the energy and enthusiasm that the committee brings to our WIFI community.

This passion allows the group to avoid 'corporate speak' to deliver events and engagement that is real and relatable. This helps participants use their collective experiences to connect on issues that are important to them.

One example is regular events where employees across Ampol share their career journeys. This creates a level of trust where conversations around gender equity can come to the surface. When we have authentic leaders sharing their stories and their opinions on what is still needed to support equity, it creates great conversation and meaningful action.

On this International Women's Day, everyone at Ampol comes together to celebrate all women, acknowledge our progress to date and recommit to continuing our journey to achieve gender equity and equality.


About the Author

Meaghan Davis

Meaghan Davis

Executive General Manager, People and Culture

Meaghan Davis was appointed Executive General Manager, People and Culture in November 2021.

Meaghan has more than 25 years' experience in people and culture and has held a number of senior executive roles at leading Australian companies. Prior to joining Ampol, Meaghan spent seven years at Woolworths Limited before joining Lendlease, where she held senior roles including Head of People and Culture, and Program Director of Lendlease's global transformation program.

Meaghan holds a Masters of Management from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Human Resources Institute.