Blog / People

I’m often asked about the proportion of women at IRESS. I usually hesitate to answer because while it’s in line with the industry, it’s lower than we would all like it to be.

We’re working hard to improve this ratio. We’ve made diversity and inclusion training mandatory for all new starters. We have strong female representation on our board. And we actively look for ways to back our female leaders, five of whom were recently shortlisted for Women in Finance Awards in Australia and the Women in IT Excellence Awards in the United Kingdom.

But I know we can do more.

Industry-leading parental leave

One of the ways we hope to attract and retain the best people is through industry-leading leave benefits.

I know from my own experience, as a father of two boys, that the decision to have children is a big one. I also know that for many, it’s as much a conversation about career and family finances as it is about whether you’re ready to give up on Sunday sleep-ins.

This is why as of September this year, we’re offering IRESS employees up to 26 weeks’ paid parental leave for primary carers – which can be taken as four months full pay followed by an additional two months at half pay. We’re also offering secondary carers up to four weeks’ leave at full pay.

As far as we can tell, our parental leave benefits are pretty close to the top of what’s currently on offer in the markets we operate in. But we haven’t stopped there.

"As far as we can tell, our parental leave benefits are pretty close to the top of what's on offer in the markets we operate in."

Flexible return to work

We recognise that returning to work can be another big transition. And so we’ve introduced flexibility where for the first four weeks, employees can work part-time while receiving their full-time wage.

We also know that children starting school is another critical time for many families. And so we’ve extended our part-time flexibility/full-time wage policy to include parents managing work and family responsibilities in the first few weeks of their child starting primary school. Of course, parental leave isn’t just about women, and it’s my hope that our male employees will also take advantage of these benefits.

Fostering diversity

As I often say to our teams at IRESS, I believe that fostering diversity, in many forms, will drive further innovation and is a real differentiator for us as a business. I also know that creating an inclusive workplace, where people feel supported to be their best both at work and at home, is how we’ll achieve great things – not just for our people, but for our clients and our shareholders too.

These changes are just the beginning of another chapter for us, as we look to for other areas we can take a leading position on when it comes to creating a work environment that’s more diverse, inclusive and innovative.

"Fostering diversity, in many forms, will drive further innovation and is a real differentiator for us."

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