Excitingly, today Contact Energy was named as the top-ranked company on the 2017 global Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index out of 6,000 companies.
I speak on behalf of everyone at Contact Energy when I say that we are extremely pleased to be recognised, as we believe that embracing diversity and inclusion is vital for any successful business. But of course, we have plenty more work to do.
To truly understand our customers, it is important that our team at Contact Energy reflects the diversity of New Zealand’s society. Therefore, we embrace a workplace culture which is inclusive and enables our diversity of thought, age, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. It drives a better one-team culture, facilitates world decision making, improves business performance and creates stronger economies.
For me, it’s a privilege to lead the great Customer team at Contact. My path has taken many twists since I migrated from Western Samoa to New Zealand with my family three decades ago. We had little money, were unable to speak the local language and we lived with extended family in a 20+ person household in Auckland. It has been a long journey to where I now work with a company recognised as a global leader in diversity, but for me it is a journey that would not have been possible without great leaders who choose to embrace inclusion. Thanks to them, my perspectives were valued, and they gifted me the opportunity to learn.
At Contact, we publish details of diversity and inclusion measures each year in our annual report (refer to PDF pages 18, 30 & 31). For the year to 30 June 2017 98% of Contact’s female employees were earning the same average salary as males within the same energy band. We’re proud to have a diverse leadership team and equal gender representation on our Board, with two directors of Maori descent.
Debra Walton, Managing Director, Customer Proposition, Financial & Risk, at Thomson Reuters summarised the importance of the topic well when announcing Contact’s place at the top of the index: “The global evidence is overwhelmingly clear, diversity is increasingly becoming a performance issue… and companies can no longer afford not to realise its societal benefits as well.”