At Essence we are very proud to be hosting out Second International Women’s Day Brunch. Even more than that, we’re super excited to share our progress over the last 12 months and reveal what we are looking to achieve over the next period.

Our Sydney Team has grown by 35% in the last 12 months, and we’ve gone from 18% females this time last year to be now at 33%! During this period, we have doubled the number of women in our organisation.

The Essence Team is taking time this morning, to celebrate last year’s success and to share and identify what goals and commitments we will be setting and monitoring for the next year so we can drive even better results.

One area that came up for us last year was tackling unconscious bias. But how do we do that? We all have bias, it’s normal and very hard to completely remove. So, we recognised that our workplace needs to be actively unbiased BY DESIGN, not by trying to change everyone’s mindsets.

DID YOU KNOW – In a recent study of yearly performance reviews, that 66% of women received negative feedback based purely on personality, such as too abrasive, too passive or too emotional…. versus 1% of men that received feedback on personality.

  • Yearly reviews can rely more on overall impressions, which can naturally lead to bias and evaluation of personality rather than fair appraisal of job performance. Short catch ups and evaluations between a manager and employees throughout the year go a long way to eliminating this occurrence at end of year reviews.

So how have we tackled this and what processes have we implemented to reduce unconscious bias?

Things that we do differently at Essence to drive gender and diversity and take on unconscious bias:

  • our careers page does not request or ask for a gender to be selected
  • our performance review system focuses on job related skills performance and feedback
  • we’ve changed our language to address everyone inclusively
  • equal opportunity for all employees to have access to mentoring and shadowing of senior members, which provides equal opportunities for development
  • we catch up with employees regularly for feedback and evaluation sessions to ensure this does not become a yearly meeting that could start to evaluate personality rather than job related performance
  • implementation of strong recruitment and hiring policies to assist in the elimination of unconscious bias

And finally, we’re not waiting up to 100 years to see the salary and wage gap close – there is no salary gap at Essence.

What are we looking at improving next?

Other than continually looking to drive gender equality at all levels, we realise that while these are important metrics to have and important to strive towards (and we are!), that what employee’s value in order to describe us equitable employer… in fact go further than these sometimes superficial metrics.

Our commitments for the next year:

  • we will include diverse teams in our tenders
  • we will improve cultural intelligence in the office. 4 Culture themed staff meetings will occur this year
  • we will improve our current male / female ratio of 33%
  • our directors have committed to mentoring one female member of staff this year

Lastly, we’re looking at ourselves and our industry friends, colleagues and partners to challenge themselves by putting forward diverse teams in tenders and placing more emphasis and value in tender reviews on companies that are providing diverse teams.

What are your commitments for promoting equality this year?


Essence Project Management Pty Ltd provider of Project Direction, Client Representation, Project Management, Independent Certification, Development Management and Superintendency services in Australia.

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