GHD has been named by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency
(WGEA) as a ‘2016 Employer of Choice,’ recognising the company’s
proactive efforts to change work culture to promote diversity and
GHD is one of only a handful of companies in the engineering,
architecture and environmental consulting sector to achieve WGEA’s
According to WGEA, trends in this year’s recipients include a
focus on flexibility and greater support for women to progress into
Over the past 12 months the percentage of women in senior
leadership roles at GHD increased by 16 percent in Australia. Women
now make up 38 percent of GHD’s Australian leadership team, and 33
percent of the GHD board. More than 40 percent of Australian new
starters this financial year have been women (compared with 36
percent in 2015/16).
GHD General Manager – Australia, Phil Duthie, a WGEA Pay Equity
Ambassador and a member of Consult Australia’s Male Champions of
Change group, says concerted efforts to evolve culture have been
“It is relatively easy to introduce a diversity strategy, and it
is relatively easy to introduce flexible working policies. What’s
much harder is shifting the culture — for both men and women — so
real change actually happens,” Phil says.
“Ours is a male-dominated industry, and if we want to drive
better diversity and inclusion then we need to be shaking off old
norms and entrenching better, more flexible ways of working.
“We can only make flexibility the norm if it is seen as normal
for both men and women. More broadly, our approach recognises that
our people have a life outside of work, and may need support to
balance their responsibilities at home or other interests.
“My senior leadership team and I have been conscious that if we
work flexibly on a regular basis, we will give others the
confidence to ask for non-traditional arrangements that suit them.
I try to work flexibly on a regular basis, at times necessitated by
personal matters and pursuits. We are looking to create a cultural
acceptance of flexible working as a legitimate and valuable way of
delivering for our clients and our business.
“It is really pleasing to see how this culture of flexibility
has given more women at GHD the confidence to express interest in
leadership roles. There’s now greater acceptance that client and
business outcomes can be delivered without following the
traditional full-time, office-bound model.
“We set up our diversity and inclusion strategy in 2014 because
we were looking for better business outcomes, but it was also
driven by my personal experience of how diverse teams enrich the
strategic conversations and team dynamics. So this Employer of
Choice recognition from WGEA is something we really cherish.”
GHD is progressively training 120 of line managers in Australia
in the principles of managing a flexible workforce.