The benefits of rolling out gender equality actions can benefit not just individual companies but also the Australian economy as a whole, according to Nicola Wakefield Evans FAICD Chair, 30% Club Australia.

As a result, the 30% Club in partnership with Femeconomy has released two new co-branded publications - a toolkit to create gender equality through procurement and also a supporting policy. The resources can be accessed here: Toolkit: Creating Gender Equality through Procurement and Policy: Creating Gender Equality through Procurement.

“The goal of the publication is to actively encourage organisations to include women-owned and led businesses in procurement and supply chains,” says Wakefield Evans. “The toolkit is aimed at increasing understanding of the benefits of gender equality procurement, generating commitment to engaging women owned and led businesses and to improving the capability of Australian companies to sustainably embed gender equality initiatives."

The toolkit is a step-by-step guide which shows organisations how to assess their supply chains, then create fairer procurement principles by reviewing and embedding new policy, getting senior leadership and stakeholders on board, setting targets and rolling out a pilot program.

The toolkit points out that customers are increasingly demanding more inclusive social policies from businesses. “Increasingly, customers are requesting information from suppliers regarding their commitments to diversity, inclusion and gender equality. Organisations should assess what type of information their customers have been requesting in this area."

In the Women Led category, an example would be to assess supplier criteria on how many board directors are female and to set a desired target of perhaps 40 per cent women on the board as a criteria for using that supplier accordingly.

In the Women Owned category, it would be important to assess which suppliers are owned and controlled by women at a level of 50 per cent or more.

The release of the resources follows the roundtable on Gender Equality Procurement Principles in 2019 held by Femeconomy and the 30% Club.