It has been commented on in the past that I’m very confident or that I sound taller on the phone compared to how I look in person (Penguin wise I’m probably more Rock Hopper than Emperor, particularly first thing in the morning ) This somewhat unusual statement hasn’t always been said as a compliment mind you. Quite how I ended up with my rather robust personality I’m not too sure but one thing I do know, and thank my parents for, is the fact it hasn’t crossed my mind that being of the female persuasion was either a help or a hindrance.

So you can understand my frustration when reading that WA has a 26% gender biased pay gap, compared to the national 17.1% and is to be the subject of a ‘Perth in Focus’ lunch later this month. The event called “Filling the Pool” features Dr Terry Fitzsimmons discussing how underutilised women are in WA and what is to be done about it. I don’t dispute these facts but must confess it still surprises and disappoints me, particularly as is something I don’t encounter when hiring new staff.

Why is this I wonder – perhaps it is because as a relatively small business we find it easier to open and equitable? Is it because we make a concerted effort to attract and retain women employees – after all women make up 34% of our team. Is it because we are happy to facilitate part-time work when feasible, which suits working parents?

Perhaps it is simply because it didn’t cross our minds that anyone should be paid for anything other than their skills and experience?

I suggest the latter and also wonder (albeit with tongue in cheek) that we perhaps take these open-mind traits from our beloved Penguins (have you seen our website?) After all Penguins are highly social, charismatic creatures of many shapes and sizes, who have superb hearing skills. They also seem to operate on an equitable footing when it comes to sharing work. Take child care for example which they share 50-50 – perfectly reasonable you’d have to agree. Also a bit like the Diversus team, each member of the group will do their bit to ensure every bird has an equal chance of survival – or in our case, get the best out of their chosen career. They are also most excellent at tobogganing – not sure how we compare on that front but the showing at the Go Karting team catch up last week wasn’t too shabby it has to be said. We don’t care what gender you are, but rest assured we will pay market rate for your skills, we’re really more interested to know you are a good egg and will add value to both our team dynamic and our client’s projects.

So if this sounds like you and in addition to some key penguin traits (great listening skills, team player and able to work well with other types of penguin) you also are a bit of a SharePoint and CRM kind of bird why not get in touch?

– Bernadette Johnstone (Head of Talent Acquisition at Diversus)