Laing O’Rourke reports on Australian Gender Pay Gap


Laing O’Rourke Australia has published its latest Gender Pay Gap analysis, in alignment with the Workplace Gender Equality Act.

According to Mark Dimmock, Acting Managing Director, measuring and managing the Gender Pay Gap is part of Laing O’Rourke’s commitment to driving change in the construction sector, which needs more talent to meet demand – and divergent talent to solve the complex problems facing the sector.

“We welcome WGEA’s public reporting of Gender Pay Gap data and see it as a strong step towards accelerating the scale and pace of change. It’s only when we understand where the pay gap exists and why, that we can begin to address it.

“Attracting and retaining more female employees is important to Laing O’Rourke. In fact, achieving parity between female and male employees by 2033 is one of the key goals within our global sustainability strategy. Addressing the Gender Pay Gap is part of what will make our sector a more attractive option for female employees,” said Mark.

Laing O’Rourke’s Gender Pay Gap in Australia at the time of reporting (31 March 2023) was 24.8%, (average total remuneration gap) which is 3.5% lower than the Australian construction industry average of 28.3%. Laing O’Rourke Australia’s median total remuneration is 30% and the industry average sits at 31.8% for the reporting period.

Laing O’Rourke Australia employed 2,701 people at the time of reporting (31 March 2023) with females representing 31% overall. This compares to 12% across the construction industry. ​

Helen Fraser, Director – People in Australia explains that while closing the gap can be complex in a male-dominated industry, the reason it exists is fairly simple.

“There is a general misconception that the Gender Pay Gap only refers to gender pay inequality in like-for-like roles. That can be a driver, but in a male dominated industry like construction, the gap is largely driven by having fewer women in senior roles and fewer women in the highest paid occupations. It’s a gap that takes years of dedicated effort to close,” said Helen.

“The data tells us the story of how effective our gender equality strategy has been so far and guides our future priorities.

“Whilst Laing O’Rourke cannot change societal drivers, we can play our part, through leading strategies and initiatives such as providing six months paid parental leave to women and men, paying superannuation on paid and unpaid parental leave, providing increased development opportunities through our sponsorship program, and proactive strategies to eliminate all forms of gender-based harassment and discrimination from our business,” she said.

Laing O’Rourke’s Gender Equality Action Plan has specific outcomes around leadership visibility and accountability, as well as applying the learnings from its Inspiring STEM+ programme, which is now being delivered by Laing O’Rourke project delivery teams in partnership with seven high schools around the country.

The plan outlines recruitment strategies, sponsorship of emerging female leaders, and mandatory training for senior and hiring managers to reduce gender bias whilst cultivating a positive and engaging culture within their teams.

“Amplifying the most relevant attraction, retention and employee engagement levers for our workplace is critical to driving sustainable change. We know our pay bands and policies create rigour, and that when we push ourselves to find the uncomfortable answers, admit when we have a problem and address the issues, we are creating the most powerful avenue to drive change.

“So, if you ask me if we were anxious about publishing our Gender Pay Gap, the answer is “absolutely not”. Transparency is the key to making improvements in this area,” said Helen.