Little Real Estate celebrates zero gender pay gap

A leadership team equally made up of men and women, workplace flexibility and an ethos of equality and diversity have been credited with Little Real Estate posting a zero gender pay gap in the 2023 financial year.

As Australia’s largest independently owned real estate agency marks International Women’s Day, it does so as one of the few private sector employers to report zero pay gap between men and women.

That comes as almost 5000 employers, with more than 100 employees, published their gender pay gaps for the first time last month. 

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency figures, 62 per cent of median employer gender pay gaps are over 5 per cent and in favour of men, while 30 per cent of employers have a median gender pay gap between the target range of between -5 per cent and +5 per cent.

The remainder (8 per cent) are less than -5 per cent and in favour of women.

Little Real Estate Chief Operations Officer Rebecca Kerr said the agency was delighted with its zero gender pay gap result.

“Traditionally we’ve always done quite well because we’ve always had a very equal representation of men and women in leadership roles across the business, which is a little unusual in real estate,” she said.

Ms Kerr said Little’s CEO, head of sales and marketing and head of finance were men, while in addition to her role, the head of property management and head of compliance roles were held by women.

She said there were clear benefits of having a diverse leadership team.

“The reality is, our leadership team should reflect the diversity of our society so that we can make better decisions, reflective of our customers and reflective of our team and who we’ve got in the business,” Ms Kerr said.

Little Real Estate Chief Operations Officer Rebecca Kerr.

She said one of the main factors behind Little recording equal division of leadership roles between men and women was due to the fact it offered flexibility.

“I think a large part of that has been our focus on flexibility in the workplace and flexibility for talented team members, and ensuring that that doesn’t limit promotional opportunities,” Ms Kerr said.

She said that flexibility extended to both the times employees started and finished work, as well as the location from which they worked.

“I work full time but I start later,” Ms Kerr explained.

“I’ve got two children, one school aged and one in childcare, so I do the school and childcare drop-off in the morning and I never have meetings before 9am.”

Ms Kerr said that flexibility was extended to all team members as long as it didn’t limit their ability to perform their role.

“What it does is show people that it doesn’t limit their promotional opportunities when they see senior executives also utilising that flexibility themselves.

“I think, at times, people don’t put themselves up for promotions or they think they’re seen as not as committed to their role when they’re after flexibility.

“But the reality is, if you provide flexibility and people are talented and love their role, you will never get more loyalty out of someone and more employee engagement when you’re able to work with them to do both the role that they love and whatever their family or personal commitments are.”

Ms Kerr said Little also had equal pay for similar roles and salary guides for each role, so that all team members understand what each role entails and the earning capacity for that position.

“I think that visibility of roles and reviewing them regularly helps you identify any unintended biases that might be coming through,” she said.

“A regular thing when employing high performing staff is to ask what their salary was, you want to meet their salary expectations, but the last thing we want to do is continue to perpetrate salary inequities from other businesses as we bring people into our business.

“So it’s around regularly reviewing our salaries and ensuring they’re all appropriately in line.”

Ms Kerr said as men were usually more inclined than women to put their hands up for promotions, it was also important that the leadership team spoke to those they believed were suitable for the role.

“It’s about ensuring that we’ve got the right people applying to ensure that we’re not perpetrating the gender imbalances as people come up through the ranks,” she said.

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