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