Coca-Cola Amatil takes a lead on gender diversity

Australian-based manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil has announced it had met its goal of 30 percent of Board, senior executive and management positions in Australia held by women, substantially ahead of its target date of 2020.

Coca-Cola Amatil Group Managing Director Alison Watkins welcomed the outcome, and said the company would continue to challenge itself with additional diversity targets to be announced in the coming year.

The company’s 2018-19 report to Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) shows 34 per cent of Coca-Cola Amatil’s management are female, across its national operations.

The result is ahead of Australia’s national average of 23.5 percent of women in management in manufacturing.

“Gender diversity in business has shifted from being the ‘right thing to do’ to being the smart thing to do,” Alison Watkins said.

“An extensive 2016 study by Credit Suisse found companies with more female executives deliver stronger market returns. A diverse leadership also brings a wider range of experience and views, leading to stronger decisions.

“There’s no doubt that gender diversity is particularly important in FMCG, with women comprising many of our customers and influencing over 80 per cent of consumer purchasing.

“So there’s plenty of good social and commercial reasons to pursue gender diversity, and we’re proud to have reached the milestones outlined in this year’s WGEA report.”

Despite the outcome, Alison said Amatil had more to do to encourage women to take up leadership roles in line management and in sales.

“Line management roles are critical in generating the CEO’s and senior leaders of the future,” she said.

“Boards generally look for potential leaders with direct experience in running commercial operations, and that includes line management in areas like supply chain and sales. Presently only one in four of Amatil’s line managers are female, so there’s more work to be done in encouraging our extremely talented women to step up.”