AT’s male-dominated exec criticised
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.
Women in Urbanism spokeswoman Emma McInnes says Auckland Transport’s executive team is not representative of what Auckland’s population actually looks like.