2017 Sustainability Report

Diversity and equal opportunities

Building a diverse and inclusive culture

Swire Pacific upholds traditional values and modern practices. We have been in business for more than 200 years. But to be an employer of choice for another 200 years, we must continually improve.

We are an international group of companies, with employees of different nationalities, cultures, religions, ages, gender identities and sexual orientations. As we expand our businesses, we recognise more and more the importance of diversity. It generates creativity and supports competitiveness, so helping us to generate strong and sustainable long-term growth. Our aim is for our workforce to be inclusive and to reflect the diversity of the societies in which we operate.

We want to continue to be a responsible, respected and preferred employer. We aim to do this by promoting inclusion, diversity and respect by safeguarding health and safety and by offering equal opportunities and an appropriate balance between work and non-work elements of life. Our Code of Conduct supports these aims.

Our group is geographically diverse. Our approach to inclusion must take account of the different societies and cultures in the countries in which we operate. We must be sensitive to differences in values, traditions and religions and must respect local approaches to diversity and inclusion. Individual operating companies are encouraged to develop locally specific approaches to diversity and inclusion accordingly.

Channels for reporting harassment or discrimination

All at Swire Pacific have a responsibility to raise concerns about potential violations of the Code of Conduct, including harassment and discrimination. Any such concerns can be raised by staff either with their immediate superior, their head of department, internal audit or human resources departments. If a substantive complaint is received, an impartial and prompt investigation is held. If the issue still remains unresolved, it is raised to the head of the relevant business unit. Any material concerns raised through the head of the relevant business unit are reported to the Audit Committee, which ensures that appropriate investigative steps are taken. We make every effort to keep the identity of the reporting staff confidential. Information received is used only for the purposes of investigating and resolving the complaint or concern raised.

Employee profile

The majority of our staff is based in Hong Kong and Mainland China. In Hong Kong, there is no legal framework for collective bargaining with trade unions. In Mainland China, we are normally required to liaise with official trade unions. Employees can present grievances and report improprieties and breaches of the Code of Conduct through established channels.

Equal opportunities for individuals

We are an equal opportunities employer. We aim to treat people with dignity and respect so as to enable them to be themselves and to do their best work. Individuals are unique and deserve respect for their individual abilities. We do not tolerate harassment, unlawful discrimination or other breaches of employment law. We provide training in order to assist staff to understand their rights and obligations under Hong Kong anti-discrimination legislation.

To cope with the diverse challenges with which we are faced, our leaders need to be diverse. This strengthens decision-making and makes us more agile and resilient. Our board diversity policy is available here on our website. At the end of 2017, the percentage of women on the Board was 18.2%.

Increasing gender diversity

We operate in some business sectors in which female participation in the workforce is low. Over the last three years the percentage of women in our workforce has increased from 36% to 37.6%.

We have an Equal Opportunities and Diversity Council, on which the heads of our operating divisions are represented. It has the following objectives:

  • To formulate equal opportunities and diversity policies for all Swire Pacific group employees
  • To encourage and advocate equal opportunities and diversity within the Swire Pacific group
  • To monitor and measure our equal opportunities and diversity achievements
  • To communicate our achievements in providing equal opportunities and diversity within the Swire Pacific group, and
  • To create, monitor and oversee an appropriate organisational framework within the Swire Pacific group in order to facilitate the achievement of our objectives

We have a Gender Diversity Committee. Its objectives are to champion and set the diversity and inclusion agenda, to recommend changes to policies and practices, to share group best practice and to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion issues.

In 2017, we did the following:

  • Swire Properties formed a diversity and inclusion committee. D&I training sessions for senior management are being planned
  • At Cathay Pacific, spousal employee benefits (medical, insurance and travel) have been extended to same sex spouses with valid marriage certificates
  • The Swire Beverages Women’s Network introduced a WeChat platform for Mainland China staff to share individual stories. More than 2,000 employees use this platform
  • Swire Beverages held its biennial women’s leadership forum. All female managers are invited to attend and to learn from each other through workshops and seminars
  • Swire Beverages ran a “Be the Best You Can Be” training programme to help female managers increase awareness of gender equality issues and the need to empower and support other women. To date, 60 female leaders from 14 bottling plants were trained to be “train the trainers” for other female colleagues

The gender pay gap

UK employers with more than 250 employees now have to report their gender pay gap. We have done a preliminary study of our gender pay gap, defined as the difference between mean male pay and mean female pay expressed as a percentage of the former. This is not the same as equal pay, which is when men and women are paid the same for the same work.

In 2017, females in senior management positions were paid 93% of the average pay of males, and females in middle/junior management and supervisory positions were paid 88% of the average pay of males, with female employees holding more of the junior management positions in the group. The corresponding percentage for non-executive customer-facing staff reflects the range of roles in this category (which includes cleaning staff, cabin crew and clerks).

We pay men and women the same for doing the same jobs. But the gender pay gap indicates that we need to do more to enable women to progress. They are over-represented in junior and lower paid roles. We will continue to emphasise diversity and inclusion in the recruitment, management and promotion of our talented people.

Gender pay gap by employee category (2017)

Other developments

Whilst we are making progress, it is clear we have to do better on inclusion of greater diversity in our businesses. We have appointed a Head of Diversity and Inclusion Development, introduced a Group Diversity and Inclusion Policy, and broadened the scope of our Gender Diversity Committee to cover other elements of diversity (consequentially renaming it the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee).

Beyond the Group level committees several of our operating companies have established their own diversity committees:

  • Swire Properties formed a diversity and inclusion committee in 2017. It is chaired by the Swire Properties Human Resources Director and reports quarterly to the Swire Properties Executive Committee. This year the committee plans to make a diversity and inclusion statement of commitment
  • Reaffirming its commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive working environment for all, Cathay Pacific through its D&I Committee plans to develop diversity and inclusion policies and to raise awareness of its women’s and LGBTI+ networks
  • Swire Beverages is forming a Gender Equality Committee in 2018, which will be chaired by its Managing Director

We will publish our gender pay gap annually and report on what we are doing to improve diversity and inclusion in our businesses.

Case study

Swire Women’s Network

In 2015, we established the Swire Women’s Network. Its aim is to aid the development and retention of women within the group. It enables women working in the group to share experiences and ideas, to arrange events and activities relevant to career development, to develop coaching and training for women and to collaborate with women outside the group.

A forum entitled “Gender Balance — What does it mean for us?” was held in November 2017. It was opened by Barnaby Swire, the chairman of John Swire & Sons Limited. Approaching 100 Swire executives attended the forum. Barnaby Swire and Michelle Low, the Swire Pacific finance director, led a panel debate. Gender representation at senior levels, cultural and industry-specific realities in different environments, and best-practice policies to support new parents were discussed. The forum was facilitated by Jo Hayes, Pipeline Initiatives Director of The Women’s Foundation.

Case study

Cathay Pacific Catering Services (CPCS) – Flexible work-life opportunities for women

Since 2008, CPCS has operated an inflight cutlery and headset-packing and vegetable semi-processing facility in Tung Chung on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. It does so with financial support from the Hong Kong Government’s Home Affairs Department and in association with the Outlying Islands Women’s Association and local community service centres in Tung Chung.

The facility supports women’s development, giving them access to employment and offering flexible working hours and training. Women (more than 100 of them so far) are offered full- or part-time employment near their homes so that they can look after their families. In 2017, more than 16 million items of cutlery and 1.8 million sets of chopsticks were processed. Focus groups have suggested that we should get more involved with the communities in which we operate. This is a good example.