Material provided by Coates
Supporting female athletes on and off the field helps champion the acceleration of women’s equality and gender diversity in the workplace.
This, according to Sheridan Jones, General Manager of Marketing and Communications at Coates, is why the equipment hire and solutions leader recently announced its partnership with a number of female sporting organisations across Australia.
“To have a real impact on matters that are important to us, we need to not only change the way we think and act, but also inspire others to act as well. Through our sponsorship of women’s sport, we want to demonstrate more explicitly our commitment to the progression of women,” Sheridan said.
“Coates has a lot of heritage in sponsoring sports; we know the impact sport has on people and communities around Australia, and it’s important that our sporting partnerships reflect those communities, especially the communities in which we operate.”
By partnering with the Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) competition, in addition to sponsoring the Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory A-league football teams, Coates aims to increase visibility of female athletes and provide more equitable opportunities for women, on and off the field.
“Coates is proud to be providing not just equipment and solutions, but a more equitable future with our partners, and the teams we support, in our workplace and on the field. We are a values-based organisation where we aim to be our best, work as one team, continuously improve for our customers and care deeply about each other,” Sheridan said.
“Together, with the AFLW, Perth Glory and the Newcastle Jets, we provide the best environments for teams and individuals to shine and it’s exciting to establish partnerships with shared values.”
The recent announcement that Coates will sponsor the Newcastle Jets and the Perth Glory A-League football teams, times well with FIFA Women’s World Cup this year, hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
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“There’s a lot of excitement in the lead up to the Women’s World Cup. It’s a great time to actively support female athletes and role models who are helping grow the women’s game for generations to come and inspire future professional female athletes across the country,” Sheridan said.
Sheridan highlights the importance of having male champions of change, such as Coates Chief Executive Officer, Murray Vitlich, supporting diversity-focused sponsorships.
“There is so much enthusiasm from Coates Chief Executive Office, Murray Vitlich and our male leaders to see women thrive, which has a ripple effect throughout our organisation. We are all striving together towards the change we all want to see,” she said.
From an internal standpoint, Coates has made strides on its own goal of having 25 per cent female participation in its workforce by 2025.
“We moved the dial from 2021 with total female representation rising from 18.3 per cent in the financial year of 2021 to 20.9 per cent in the financial year of 2022,” Sheridan said.
“That’s 62 more females in our workforce compared to last year.”
On the management front, Coates now has four women on its executive leadership team.
“It’s exciting to have seen a marked increase in female leadership, with 20.3 female representation in management roles in 2022 compared with 18 per cent in 2021. We’ve also seen great success from our frontline women in leadership program LEAP, where 40 per cent of participants have secured a promotion to a management role or have made a lateral move to another role to expand their capabilities,” Sheridan said.
“We’re motivated on the path to achieving our aspiration of 25 per cent. There is more to do but we are making positive progress.”
In line with the IWD theme for 2023 ‘embrace equity’, a key priority for Coates is reducing the gender pay gap. This involves using targeted parity-based salary increases, in addition to regular reviews of pay parity as part of the organisation’s broad remuneration review processes. Moreover, the company introduced a Flexibility Policy in 2022 and made inroads into a wider talent pool by offering more flexible working arrangements like varied start and finish times.
Sheridan reiterates the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is not just a ‘sporting’ goal. It’s one that the organisation sees as fundamental to its future.