Women university graduates have outnumbered men graduates in Australia for the past three decades, yet 95 per cent of Australia’s top companies continue to be run by men.

The gender pay gap continues to be prevalent, with findings released by the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC) indicating that women in Australia still earn 23 per cent less when compared to men’s earnings.1

On our one year anniversary since launching the Aon Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan, and as we celebrate International Women’s Day, 8 March, it is important to reflect on how we continue to challenge gender bias, and our commitment to equality in the workplace at Aon.

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The Aon Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan focuses on four key areas:

  • Culture – encouraging gender diversity, and further developing a culture of inclusion
  • Talent – attracting and recruiting a diverse talent to Aon
  • Retention – addressing talent “feeder pools”, next generation of leaders, within Aon, and identifying a rationale for non-retention
  • Education – educating managers and colleagues on diversity and inclusion at Aon, and their role in creating an inclusive organisation

From addressing gender bias to strategic recruitment plans focused on women, Aon is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and collaborative workplace culture.

In 2015, we launched a framework to direct and support our efforts to building an inclusive organisation, which led to the establishment of the Aon Diversity & Inclusion Council (D&I Council). The D&I Council is led by a team of five senior leaders who provide strategic direction towards building a more inclusive culture. The group monitors the progress of existing initiatives to ensure we maintain and continue to grow a diverse and inclusive workforce. The Council is further supported by smaller focus groups within Aon, such as the International Women’s Resource Group, and the Inclusion Group.

Aon is committed to ensuring all employees have equal opportunities during their career at the company, from recruitment to the exit interview process. Talent assessment data analysis is consistent across all candidates, and to further minimise bias from the recruitment stage and beyond, we are implementing an Unconscious Bias Awareness training across the business, empowering our employees to create an inclusive organisation. Following the introduction of recruitment guidelines, we have achieved significantly higher placements of female than male applicants over the past 18 months. We continue to ensure that all succession charts have an equal representation of high performing men and women, with the current pool of candidates equally represented across both genders. We are pleased to have five high potential women represented on the Women on Boards Next Generation Leadership program, an initiative sponsored by Aon for the second year running. At a senior level, in our Commercial Risk Solutions, Health Solutions and Affinity businesses, women currently represent 50 per cent of CEO’s direct reports, up from 20 per cent in 2016..

Our overall goal is to embed and integrate diversity and inclusion concepts and content into all areas of Aon, which we believe will ultimately drive innovation, create opportunities and allow us to better serve our own people as well as our clients. While practical solutions, such as, Aon Flex – an inclusive approach to work place flexibility, unconscious bias training, and the establishment of gender targets, which we are committed to achieving, have been put in place, our work is certainly not done. A key tool, our Action Plan will continue to evolve and challenge us to achieve our Diversity and Inclusion ambitions in 2019 and beyond.

To mark the 2019 International Women’s Day, we asked women at Aon their insights and strategies that have been invaluable in helping them realise their goals and aspirations in the workplace. Find out what they had to say by following us on social.


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