2018 Sustainability Report

Diversity & inclusion

Oliva Wong
“By promoting diversity and inclusion, we will be able to attract and retain people who can benefit the organisation. This benefits them as individuals, the communities in which we operate and society as a whole.”

Olivia Wong,
Head of Diversity and Inclusion Development

Creating a valuable culture

We want to create an inclusive and supportive working environment for all our people, regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation, relationships, family status, disability, race, ethnicity, nationality or religious or political beliefs. We believe in creating an environment where people feel comfortable at work and able to realise their full potential.

"Diversity is a fact, and inclusion is a choice" noted Olivia Wong, Head of Diversity and Inclusion Development. We are an international group of companies. Our people are diverse in age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities and cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Being inclusive is different. We need to make conscious decisions to embrace and respect people who might not be the same as us. It takes more effort but is rewarding. Innovation and creativity happen when people from diverse backgrounds work together. By promoting diversity and inclusion, we will be able to attract and retain the people who can benefit our organisation. This benefits them as individuals, the communities in which we operate and society as a whole. Our aim is for our workforce to be inclusive and to reflect the diversity of the societies in which we operate.

We want 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

Everyone at Swire Pacific has a responsibility to raise concerns about harassment and discrimination. Such concerns can be raised by staff with their immediate superiors, their department heads and internal audit or human resources departments. If a substantive complaint is received, an impartial and prompt investigation is held. If the issue 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 do our best to keep the identity of reporting members of staff confidential. Information received is used only for the purposes of investigating and resolving the complaint or concern raised.

Increasing gender diversity

We operate in some business sectors in which female participation in the workforce is low. The percentage of women in our workforce has increased from 36% to 37% over the past five years. Our marine services division showed the largest gap in gender diversity with only around 15.5% of its workforce being women.

Percentage of men and women in the workforce

Non-executive – non-customer facing operational and technical staff have the largest gender diversity gap. Staff from this category from Cathay Pacific, HAECO and Swire Coca-Cola account for 88.7% of Swire Pacific staff. They include ground staff, tradesmen, trainees and delivery drivers.

Employee breakdown by gender by operating company (%)

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

Equal opportunities for a diverse and inclusive workforce

In 2018, we introduced a Group Diversity and Inclusion Policy. Under this policy, spousal employee benefits (medical, insurance and travel) have been extended to same sex spouses with valid marriage certificates.

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

To cope with the diverse challenges we face, our leaders must 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 2018, the percentage of women on our board was 18.2%.

Female sales representative recruitment

Swire Coca-Cola – Female sales representative recruitment

In 2018, Swire Coca-Cola made significant progress in recruiting female sales staff. It established a five-year target in February 2018 to achieve 30% female representation in its sales representative workforce. To achieve this, it needed to begin by achieving a 30% female recruitment ratio. The female representation was 24% at 31 December 2018, compared with a target of 23%. The female recruitment ratio was five percentage points higher in 2018 than in 2017 (and was 31% and 25% respectively at the Hefei and Zhengzhou bottling plants in 2018).

Unconscious Bias Training

We give unconscious bias training. This has been done for those recruiting group management trainees in 2019, for 450 managers at 10 Swire Coca-Cola bottling plants in Mainland China and Taiwan and for 400 people at Cathay Pacific engaged in recruitment and promotion.

Streamlining governance structures

In 2018, we established a diversity and inclusion development department and appointed a group head of diversity and inclusion development, who reports to our staff director. Following this appointment, we formed the Swire Pacific diversity and inclusion steering committee (DISC), which replaces our equal opportunities and diversity council and our gender diversity committee. The Swire women’s network continues in existence. It aims to enhance our ability to retain potential future female leaders by supporting the advancement of women’s careers. It organises events, creates development opportunities, researches and develops policies and builds relationships with male allies and NGOs.

DISC reports to the Chairman of Swire Pacific. DISC is jointly chaired by the finance director of Swire Pacific and the John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Limited (JSSHK) staff director. The other members of DISC are the HR directors of Swire Properties, Cathay Pacific, HAECO and Swire Coca-Cola, a representative nominated by Swire Pacific Offshore, a director in our Trading & Industrial division, the head of the JSSHK staff department and the JSSHK head of diversity and inclusion development.

The committee’s responsibilities are as follows.

  • to provide group guidelines about diversity and inclusion (D&I)
  • to formulate policies designed to promote a diverse workforce and an inclusive working environment for all our employees, with a view to ensuring that our companies are regarded as employers of choice
  • to recommend policies designed to deal with specific D&I difficulties in the places we operate
  • to research and provide examples of international best practice on D&I
  • to share best practices and raise awareness of D&I issues within the group
  • to coordinate consistent D&I communications
  • to monitor, measure and communicate our D&I achievements
  • to encourage and advocate sound D&I practices

There are other diversity committees in the group. Swire Properties and Cathay Pacific have diversity and inclusion committees. Cathay Pacific has women’s and LGBT+ networks. Swire Coca-Cola has a gender equality steering committee. These D&I Committee’s responsibilities include ensuring equal opportunities, advocating fair and bias-free processes for recruiting, developing and promoting employees and monitoring and reporting successes.

The gender pay gap

UK employers with more than 250 employees 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 2018, women in senior management positions were paid 102% of the average pay of men, compared with 93% in 2017. Women in middle and junior management and in supervisory positions were paid 90% of the average pay of men, compared with 88% in 2017. The corresponding percentages for non-executive customer-facing staff (who include cleaning staff, cabin crew and clerks) were 55% in 2018 and 39% in 2017.

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 emphasise diversity and inclusion in the recruitment, management and promotion of our talented people.

Gender pay gap by employee category

We publish our gender pay gap annually and report on what we are doing to improve diversity and inclusion in our businesses.
Executive – Top/Senior management-7%2%
Executive – Middle/junior management & supervisory-12%-10%
Non-exec – Customer-facing staff-61%-45%
Non-exec – Non-customer-facing operations/technical staff-44%-41%

Other developments

We are making progress in diversity, but we need to do better and plan to do so. In 2018, we did the following.

  • The Swire Properties public affairs department piloted on the job training for people with disabilities.
  • Swire Pacific and Cathay Pacific sponsored The Women’s Foundation Gala Dinner in Hong Kong.
  • Cathay Pacific sponsored the Pink Dot Hong Kong. The event celebrated diversity in Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific’s LGBT+ network Fly With Pride had a picnic area at the event.
  • Cathay Pacific held a D&I talk and panel discussion entitled “Do we treat people differently based on stereotypes?” The discussion focused on unconscious bias.
  • Swire Coca-Cola’s Gender Equality Steering Committee set diversity targets for the next five years. It monitors progress on a bi-monthly basis. Each bottling plant has established its own steering committee to support this. The proportion of female sales representatives in Mainland China increased.
  • Swire Coca-Cola held its biennial women’s leadership forum, in which there were 365 participants. The event gave an opportunity to celebrate and thank the women of Swire Coca-Cola and celebrate achievements in progressing towards gender equality.
  • Swire Coca-Cola 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. 515 female managers from 13 bottling plants participated.
  • Swire Pacific Offshore joined the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) Singapore chapter. WISTA’s objective is to attract and support female managers in the maritime, trading and logistics sectors.
  • Swire Pacific Offshore provided a confidential harassment and discrimination hotline.
  • The Swire Women’s Network sponsored a conference in support of the United Nations HeForShe initiative.

Cathay Pacific – Fly With Pride

Fly With Pride was introduced in 2018 to support Cathay Pacific’s LGBT+ community and to break the stigma which can be attached to sexual orientation. Every employee should feel safe and valued when they come to work at Cathay Pacific and should feel comfortable in bringing their whole selves to work, whatever their sexual orientation. This group’s objectives are:

  • To create a support network for Cathay Pacific LGBT+ people
  • To organise activities to help raise LGBT+ awareness and create a better sense of belonging in the workplace
  • To promote awareness of the LGBT+ community for colleagues who are not LGBT+
  • To contribute to a more inclusive and diverse Hong Kong community

“I genuinely believe there is not only a solid business case for LGBT+ inclusion at Cathay but also a strong moral case too – it’s just the ‘right thing’ for us to do” says Josh Rogers, Fly With Pride Network Lead

Swire Hotels – Down Syndrome – UPSTAIRS project

Swire Hotels’ The Upper House invited 10 summer interns on a work experience programme, the UPSTAIRS project.

The programme, undertaken with The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association, was designed to provide vocational experience for young people with Down Syndrome and to equip them with the skills to integrate into society. 18 hours of training was given, followed by work experience in different parts of the hotel. Two participants were recruited on a part time basis for six months, one in housekeeping and one in its guest experience team. The Upper Hotel expects to continue its partnership with other programmes in future.

Looking ahead

DISC is developing strategies and setting targets. Operating companies intend to make improvements in one or two of five D&I focus areas – age, gender, sexual orientation, disability and ethnicity.

Later this year, we will introduce a respect in the workplace policy. The policy will aim to tackle workplace harassment and bullying and will provide a complaints procedure.

We are developing a flexible working policy and related guidelines, which we expect to publish in Q2 2019.

Later this year, the Group (and Swire Properties, Cathay Pacific, HAECO and Swire Coca-Cola) will sign up to the Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission’s racial diversity and inclusion charter.

Later this year, we will start our male allies’ initiative. Its purpose is to benefit from the collective influence and engagement of our internal male leaders and employees. This in turn will advance gender diversity and inclusion within the group.