Rob Slocombe

Royal Automobile Club WA CEO
In his own words . . .
Rob Slocombe.jpeg

Why commit to gender equity?

RAC’s purpose is to be the driving force for a better WA. We know that to achieve this we must build an organisation where our own people reflect the rich composition of the WA community and are able to harness the value diversity offers.

 

As a male leader and CEO I am in a privileged position to help drive change. I am an advocate for greater diversity by partnering with the women in our organisation, as well as my peers in business and throughout the WA community, to achieve gender equity.
 

Joining CEOs for Gender Equity provides a great opportunity to share learnings and experiences with others to help achieve our gender equity goals. On a personal note, I also have two daughters who offer me inspiration every day and I want to ensure I am part of driving the change that ensures they have the same access to opportunities irrespective of gender.

 Gender equity strengthens an organisation. Beyond the inherent moral drivers, research tells us that organisations with greater gender equity attract and retain the best talent, are more innovative
and have stronger financial outcomes. Greater diversity offers varied experiences and perspectives, introduces different styles and approaches, and provides opportunity for new conversations. When
coupled with inclusion, an organisation creates the space to unlock and harness the value of that diversity in how it solves problems, makes decisions and gets the best out of its people.

 

Ultimately, organisations that embrace and champion gender diversity will prove the most successful over years to come, thanks to a modern workforce that’s more innovative, adaptable and better able to solve the problems of tomorrow.

While we’ve made good progress, we recognise we aren’t where we want to be and are committed to driving improved gender equity outcomes. Over the past few years, we have introduced a number of drivers for change, including:

  • Established an RAC Gender Equity Working Group comprised of senior male and female leaders to implement our Gender Diversity Action Plan which, among other things, focuses on leadership accountability, eliminating bias, enabling flexibility and addressing pay inequity.

  • Conducted gender listening tours between our Executive leaders and people from across the organisation. This is to ensure our most senior leaders learn from the lived experiences of our people on the barriers to gender equity.

  • Created targeted talent programs to support the accelerated development of emerging and talented female leaders. These programs are designed to provide improved access to
    mentorship, target areas of skill development needed for more senior roles and help build a network within the broader organisation that will aid in career progression.

  • Embedded monitoring and review mechanisms into remuneration processes to remediate gender pay gaps for like roles.

  • Updated our internal leave policies and introduced a range of flexible working options to help our people balance the demands of career and life.

Inequity is present in every organisation. As leaders we have a responsibility to understand the drivers of that inequity and to take meaningful steps to influence change. Many of the barriers to
women reaching their full potential exist in the shared processes, rituals and systems of an organisation. Without top-down commitment these barriers can feel impossible to remove. A top-
down approach allows you to accelerate the path to equity and maintain the focus needed to shift the dial amid competing priorities.

For there to be sustainable and accelerated change in Western Australia in relation to gender equity it must be driven both individually and collectively by business leaders. All CEOs need to be part of the gender conversation, share their experiences and learn from one another to create a future where gender equity is the norm.