Nine Australian companies in globe's 100 most diverse organisations

22 September 2020 3 min. read

A new index that ranks organisations based on the diversity and inclusiveness of their workplace has put nine Australian companies in the top 100 across the world.

The index is composed by global financial market data provider Refinitiv, that used more than 450 environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) metrics to examine diversity and inclusion in our world today. The researchers examined four key pillars – diversity, inclusion, people development, and news & controversies.

Diversity looks at the cultural and gender mix of the board and management, while inclusion examines the flexibility of working hours, daycare facilities and disabled friendliness. People development is the extent to which employees grow and are satisfied with the business, while the last pillar self evidently examines controversies around equality within the firm.

Of the nearly 10,000 global companies examined through this lens – which mixes the metrics into a score out of 100 – nine Australian firms have made the top 100 worldwide. This score puts Australia in third across the world when it comes to diversity and inclusion, behind only the US and the UK.

Woolworts + AGL Energy + Blackmores + CSL + Commonwealth Bank of Australia + InvoCare + NIB Holdings + AusNet Services + Vita Group

Australia’s most inclusive companies

Supermarket giant Woolworths is the top ranked Australian firm, placing 48th on the global list with a score of just over 71 out of 100. In second with an identical score is utilities firm AGL Energy, while pharma company Blackmores ranked third in Australia and 58th globally with a score of 70.5. Following on is biotech firm CSL with a score of just over 70, ranking 61st worldwide.

A notable gap follows on the list, broken by financial services giant Commonwealth Bank of Australia in fifth for the country and number 75 worldwide. The bank fell just short of the 70 points mark, as did funeral service provider InvoCare with an identical score.

The remainder of Australia’s most inclusive companies also scored between 69 and 70, rounding up the country’s presence on the list. In the mix are health insurance firm NIB Holdings, energy company AusNet Services, and retail network Vita Group – bringing up the rear for Australia on the index in 95th place worldwide.

Australia’s notable presence on this index is promising from an economic perspective. Experts suggest that a more inclusive business environment has tremendous economic benefits, and Refinitiv’s Global Head of ESG Elena Philipova explained how it creates value for individual companies.

“Increased transparency and focus on diversity and inclusion empowers businesses through their sustainable workforce. In turn this generates greater investor, customer and public confidence,” she said. Philipova added that the Covid-19 pandemic and its widespread economic impact have only highlighted the need for inclusivity efforts, as workplace priorities come under the microscope.