WGEA 2024 Report – VetPartners statement

As Australia’s largest animal health employer and a significant employer in New Zealand as well, VetPartners is committed to providing an environment that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion, equal opportunity and prevents discrimination. We will do this by ensuring all our team members recognise and prevent institutional or systemic issues that lead to discriminatory practices and/or behaviours that may constitute discrimination (including sexual harassment, victimisation, vilification, and bullying), and feel safe to report any unacceptable behaviours.

VetPartners has an award-winning Health and Safety Strategy and a DEI strategy that promotes the importance of culture, diversity and inclusion. We have policies and documents that underpin and outline our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and equal employment opportunity (EEO) and we are committed to progressing our Gender Equality Indicators.

VetPartners’ Executive Leadership Team (governing body) acknowledges that as one of the measures of our commitment to gender equality, our current gender pay gap (GPG) compared to Australia’s GPG needs further progress. We are pleased to report that our average organisational pay gap has been steadily declining over the past three years and we have context that describes our unique challenges. We are committed to identifying and leveraging opportunities to improve gender equality outcomes and have been making changes and improvements within our organisation already for several years.

VetPartners Executive Leadership Team

VetPartners Gender Pay Gap Key Points

  • Where we have comparable roles, there is little to no pay For example:
    • Across our Operations cohort, we have less than a 2% gap
    • Vet nurses also have minimal gap
    • General Practice vets are within a 10% gap illustrating the broad range of tenure, skills and specialisms within that cohort.
    • For Graduate vets, there is no gap
  • Since 2020, our median gender pay gap has closed by 2%; average pay gap by 4%. We are pleased with our progress and we know we have more to do.
  • We have 78% women in the upper pay quartiles and 94% in the lower quartiles: total of 86% women in our organisation, consistent with industry At each quartile of pay, we have more women.
  • Women are dominant in award based, clinical support roles, which is reflected by the gender mix of applicants to these Where there are men in roles, they tend to have a larger presence in higher paid quartiles, eg Specialist Vets. To encourage career progression and skill development in award-based support roles, we have built development programs: Super Nurse for senior nurses, Aspire for all nurses and a Nurse Advisory Council. 15% of all our nurses will be in these programs by June 2024.
  • We are progressing well and continuing to advance our Gender Equality Indicators (GEI), including good policies, strategies and 50% gender balance on our We also have good engagement 82% in 2023 vs 76% in 2022 across our organisation, 78% of participants being women.
  • We have more to do including positioning/developing more women in senior roles eg specialist vets and encouraging more men to join us in award-based roles, however we believe that our median gender pay gap is a function of mix as illustrated in our data.
All employees 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23
Average (mean) total remuneration 38.4% 36.7% 34.2%
Median total remuneration 46.4% 42.8% 44.9%
Average (mean) base salary 36.2% 35.0% 34.2%
Median base salary 44.9% 48.4% 49.6%

Our Commitment

VetPartners has a commitment to improve EEO via the following commitment statement found within our EEO Policy:

  1. Consistent with our commitment to inclusion in our DEI Strategy 2024+, VetPartners recognises the benefits for the recruitment, retention, innovation, wellbeing and productivity of all staff in an environment that celebrates and welcomes diversity and inclusion and promotes equitable
  1. VetPartners acknowledges Indigenous Australians as the original Australians, and acknowledges equality for New Zealand Māori as per Article 3 of Te Tiriti o * VetPartners is committed to the unique relationship that exists with Indigenous Australians and New Zealand Māori people through community engagement, employment and broader education strategies. VetPartners acknowledges that this policy is a step in the evolution of new approaches that step out Indigenous Australians and Māori communities from a Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity framework towards the development of a unique and independent framework.
  1. VetPartners will take every opportunity to support and improve gender equality outcomes addressing any gender imbalances, including pay It will do this via its Remuneration Committee, Talent and other governing Committees and via the pay decisions of its Executive Leadership Team and senior leadership team using principles found within this policy and guidelines for EEO and DEI remuneration practices.
  1. Equal opportunity is an integral part of the employment life cycle applicable to recruitment, retention, performance management, promotion, talent identification, succession planning, remuneration, professional development and end of employment.
  2. Equal opportunity is an integral part of the team member experience and life cycle applicable to facilities and services, applications, learning and development enrolment, learning and assessment, involvement in the VetPartners’ community and performance management/ratings.
  1. VetPartners is committed to promoting and applying equal opportunity, and all members of its community are expected to contribute to an inclusive working, learning and social environment:
    • in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and clients are equally respected;
    • free from all forms of unacceptable unlawful discriminatory behaviour including, sexual harassment, bullying, victimisation, threat or violence and racial/religious vilification.
  1. VetPartners is committed to continually improving and fully integrating equal opportunity and inclusion principles into all aspects of its activities throughout its decision-making and planning processes and outcomes.
  1. VetPartners commits to deploying targeted strategies, actions and measures (‘special measures’) as appropriate to improve opportunities for people from underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, and will make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to policies, practices and requirements where necessary to provide equal opportunity for individuals.
  2. VetPartners’ DEI Strategy and related Roadmap and action plans support implementation of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion principles and objectives and outline priorities and objectives to build a more diverse and inclusive community. This is through four distinct pillars:
    • Driving and promoting an inclusive DEI Strategy
    • Ensuring an equitable and inclusive experience for all
    • Building community via leading DEI practices and
    • Empowering our people by improving access
  1. VetPartners will undertake regular reviews of the employment life cycle to ensure systemic issues impacting equal opportunity and inclusion are addressed. These reviews will include analysis of policies, processes and procedures, culture, experience and outcomes to ensure inclusive practices enable all team members to fully participate. The review will include consultation with resource
  1. Any member of the VetPartners community who believes they have experienced harassment and discrimination of any sort may seek support through their Line manager, Mental Health First Aid representative, Whistleblower Hotline, HR, EAP, the Executive Leadership Team or the VetPartners DEI Council.

Our Actions

VetPartners has a broad strategy in building EEO across its Australia and New Zealand workplaces:

  • Selection panels will strive for gender balance and diversity in organisation composition.
  • There will be regular analysis of recruitment policy, processes, systems and data with regards to equal opportunity commitments including diversity of participation at sourcing, application, shortlisting and hiring stage to eliminate bias. Such analysis will identify and put into plans, actions and areas for improvement.
  • Staff responsible for recruiting and talent acquisition will be trained in equal employment principles and anti-discrimination recruitment and selection practices
Retention and Remuneration
  • To ensure gender bias does not occur at any point in remuneration decision making process, VetPartners is committed to reducing the gender pay equity gap and will undertake regular analysis, monitoring and implement improvements where required.
  • VetPartners recognises the increasing importance of reasonable adjustments to work to accommodate flexible working arrangements in maintaining a diverse and adaptable workforce and will assess all staff requests for workplace adjustment and flexible working arrangements based upon disclosures of a protected attribute.
  • VetPartners will conduct regular analysis of the take up of flexibility working options and workplace adjustment in order to identify improvements and promote flexible working options available to staff and managers.
  • Representation of women undertaking a wider role in governance will be supported by ensuring governing and decision-making committees eg RemCo, ELT, RiskCo and HR; strive for gender balance and diversity in composition.
  • VetPartners Remuneration Committee will broaden its purpose to that of talent equity and selection and ELT will receive reports monthly to strive for gender balance and diversity in the organisation’s structural and remuneration composition and hold itself to account for influencing and mandating strong equitable principles with regards to promotion, pay equity, structural governance and DEI.
  • There will be regular analysis of promotion policy, processes, systems and data with regard to equal opportunity commitments including review of diversity of participation at application, shortlisting and promotion stage. Such analysis will identify areas for improvement.
Classification/structural governance
  • Promotion panels will be trained in equal employment principles.
  • There will be periodic analysis of the position classification and reclassification processes to identify any areas of under representation or bias relating to equal opportunity. Areas for improvement will be identified and actioned and reported to the relevant committees and governing bodies regularly.
Performance Management Processes
  • Performance standards and measures will be equitable and transparent.
Talent Identification and succession planning
  • VetPartners will conduct regular analysis of professional development, performance ratings, talent management and related processes with regards to equal opportunity commitments including diversity of participation in staff career movement and progression. Such analysis will identify areas for improvement and report on actions taken to improve.
  • VetPartners will ensure men and women (and other genders at 40/40/20) are represented within the talent identification and succession planning process.
Learning and Development
  • Achievement relative to opportunity will be considered in career progression decisions.
  • VetPartners will provide professional development opportunities and special programs where areas of under representation are identified to encourage and support staff in their learning and career development.
  • VetPartners will monitor and implement a process to capture exit interview data and track any trends with regards to equal opportunity commitments. Retention strategies will be implemented as required in order to support retaining diverse talent.

Click here to download a printable version of the 2024 WGEA report

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