AT’s male-dom­i­nated exec crit­i­cised

North Shore Times - - FUN/FLAVOUR - ADAM JA­COB­SON

In­creased gen­der di­ver­sity is needed in Auck­land Trans­port’s (AT) male-dom­i­nated ex­ec­u­tive team, women’s groups say.

In­ter­na­tional re­search shows that a more di­verse work­force ben­e­fits busi­nesses’ bot­tom-line, and New Zealand’s Min­istry for Women says more needs to be done to en­sure women move into lead­er­ship roles.

De­spite this, AT’s ex­ec­u­tive team, which is the high­est level of man­age­ment and de­ci­sion­mak­ing in the coun­cil or­gan­i­sa­tion, is made up of nine men and one woman.

In the most re­cent cen­sus data women made up 51 per cent of Auck­land’s pop­u­la­tion.

AT said in a writ­ten state­ment it was com­mit­ted to di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion. Po­si­tions were ap­pointed not on an eth­nic­ity or gen­der ba­sis, but on the rel­e­vant skills and ex­pe­ri­ence re­quired for the job, it said.

‘‘We al­ways hire on this ba­sis but ac­knowl­edge we need to broaden the search and tal­ent pool we hire from in the first place.’’

Through­out AT women made up 43 per cent of staff, it said.

Women in Ur­ban­ism spokes­woman Emma McInnes said AT’s ex­ec­u­tive team was not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Auck­land’s pop­u­la­tion.

It was hard to imag­ine how a team lack­ing in gen­der di­ver­sity could ad­dress the needs of all Auck­lan­ders, McInnes said.

Gen­der quo­tas could be im­ple­mented to in­crease di­ver­sity on the team, she said.

‘‘We should not be de­sign­ing our cities for the priv­i­leged, able­bod­ied, nine to five com­muters, we have to ad­dress the di­verse needs of all Auck­lan­ders.’’

Global Women chief ex­ec­u­tive Mi­randa Bur­don said there was an onus on pub­lic en­ti­ties, like AT, to have di­verse lead­er­ship as it was in the best in­ter­ests of the pub­lic it served.

‘‘Di­ver­sity has been shown re­peat­edly to make good busi­ness sense, and al­though it may ini­tially re­quire a bit more work to change a non-di­verse team or en­vi­ron­ment, that ef­fort is worth it at a so­cial and eco­nomic level,’’ Bur­don said.

The ex­ec­u­tive team should fol­low AT’s board of direc­tors lead, which was 45 per cent fe­male, and ad­dress eth­nic di­ver­sity that re­flected Auck­land’s pop­u­la­tion, she said.

De­vel­op­ing a pipe­line where tal­ent could be chan­nelled through man­age­ment lev­els was es­sen­tial in ad­dress­ing di­ver­sity prob­lems.

ADAM JA­COB­SON/ STUFF

Women in Ur­ban­ism spokes­woman Emma McInnes says Auck­land Trans­port’s ex­ec­u­tive team is not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of what Auck­land’s pop­u­la­tion ac­tu­ally looks like.

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