This year’s MetLife’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme is Gender Equality Means Business highlighting our commitment to diversity and inclusion. The MetLife theme compliments the IWD 2020 theme #EachforEqual.

Here, Cathy Duloy, and Frances McClelland from MetLife’s Women in Business Network, and Alex Hunter, Head of Talent Acquisition, reveal how the company strives for equality every day.

What is MetLife doing to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day?

Cathy: On March 5, we hosted a morning tea and panel discussion. Anne-Marie Julian our Head of Client Partnerships and Affiliate Business, Asia, facilitated a lively discussion about fostering diversity and gender equity along with insights from:

  • Kim Heng – Chief Operations Officer, Australian Ethical Super
  • Richard Nunn – CEO, MetLife Australia
  • Alex Sosnov, Head of People & Culture Australia and Head of Talent, Asia  

Also, as part of our commitment to gender equality, MetLife globally has decided to sign the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). The principles seek to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

What are MetLife’s Lean In Circles for women?

Cathy: Our Lean In Circles are part of our global Women's Initiative strategy, and every month our Diversity & Inclusion Committee organises facilitator-led groups for women to share their experiences in a safe space. We talk about issues relevant to women in the workplace and leadership, help build networks and influence across the organisation, develop high impact communication skills, increase confidence and much more.

What is MetLife doing to create a gender equal business?

Frances: As part of the Diversity & Inclusion employee led group, we listen to feedback from employees across the business and push for HR policy changes that meet their needs. This includes important initiatives that promote pay equity.

Alex: Traditionally, in financial services men are paid 22% more than women and the Australian average is lower at 13.9% so improving pay equity is something we’re passionate about. We pay for the role, not the individual, and try and ensure men and women are paid the same.

What does MetLife do for diversity and inclusion in general?

Alex: The first step towards equality is finding out what we look like as a workforce. So, we did research to learn more about our employee base including backgrounds, genders, cultures, ethnicities and religions. We’ve used this to create our diversity and inclusion strategy.

One of the main aims of MetLife's Diversity & Inclusion Committee is to drive change and keep this conversation going. We also run frequent events where guest speakers talk about topics such as building a diverse leadership pipeline. Those events are open to everyone in MetLife.

What does the future look like for equality at MetLife?

Alex: The gender balance of the Australian workforce is very close to 50/50 but if you break it down per level, it's male top-heavy: 82.9% of senior management positions in the non-public sector are held by men according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in November 2019. There's something broken in the system, so we want to put things in place to improve opportunities for women. We’re midway through a journey. We know where we want to get to, but we've still got a lot of work to do.

Find out more about our Diverse and Inclusive workplace