Group Review

PEOPLE: encouraging diversity

Australia is undergoing significant demographic change, and our customers are increasingly saying that an essential part of a great shopping experience is receiving fantastic customer service from people who reflect their communities. We are working to attract and retain a diverse workforce with a positive customer focus by providing a safe, equitable and engaging working environment.


Woolworths wants all our employees to feel valued and respected at work, regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2015/16 we continued reviewing our strategies and goals to ensure they support a culture of diversity and inclusion.


More than half of our total workforce is female and the Woolworths Board is split 50:50 between men and women. We are committed to improving the representation of women even further by increasing their numbers in executive and management roles.

In FY16, women held 39% of management positions in Woolworths, with the majority in Operations. Increasing female representation at all levels of management and across all functions is important as it will improve Woolworths’ overall gender equality performance, provide aspirational role models and increase attraction and retention of high‑performing women.

Woolworths is also focused on addressing gender pay gap issues. Woolworths is undertaking extensive work and analysis to understand any salary wage gaps. We have developed a diversity and inclusion strategy and remuneration principles to drive improvement in this area. Major initiatives within this strategy will be launched in November 2016, including a gender equity pay review effective 1st November which will deliver a significant step change towards closing the gap.

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IMAGE: Woolworths International Women's Day Pledge For Parity campaign.


Woolworths is committed to creating opportunities and increasing Indigenous employment. This commitment is outlined in our Reconciliation Action Plan.

We continue to work towards closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through our people strategy, which includes:

  • Employment Parity Initiative: In December 2015, Woolworths entered into a contract with the Australian Federal Government under the Employment Parity Initiative. This will result in Woolworths adding 1,600 new Indigenous team members to our business over the next three years. Currently, 1.1% of our staff identify as Indigenous. Our goal is to increase this to 2% of our Store Operations team and Graduate intake. To help us get there, we are carrying out targeted recruitment and cultural awareness training in partnership with a national provider, Diversity Dimensions, and have built a state-by-state workforce plan for our Supermarkets.
  • Supply Nation: Supply Nation is dedicated to growing diversity within the supply chain and we are working with them to engage Indigenous suppliers. For example, over the past year, we have increased our business with Message Stick Communications by 25% and with Young Guns Container Crew by 3%. We are also in our sixth year of working with tomato supplier Kalano.
  • Jawun Indigenous Community Secondment Program: During the year, Endeavour Drinks continued to partner with Jawun, a not-for-profit organisation that supports innovative programs of change in Indigenous communities. Their Secondment Program provides Indigenous communities with skilled Woolworths corporate employees to help in areas such as marketing and business planning.
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IMAGE: CEO Brad Banducci attending the launch of the Woolworths' Employment Parity Initiative


Understanding our customers is critical to providing the best shopping experience. During 2015, we undertook significant work around this in our Dan Murphy’s business, with positive customer feedback. We mapped community demographics across 250 stores so managers could make better-informed decisions about product ranging and recruitment. Woolworths is rolling out a similar program across our other businesses between now and 2020.


Woolworths has a long and proud tradition of providing employment opportunities for people at all stages of their lives by championing inclusive work practices that we continually develop.

By 2020, we want all our Talent Acquisition teams to have completed unconscious bias training. This will also contribute to our goal of halving our reported bullying and discrimination statistics – an important step on our journey towards zero workplace bullying.

Our core focus areas are people with a disability, age diversity and LGBTI inclusion.


Woolworths belongs to the Australian Network on Disability (AND), which represents corporate organisations in supporting disability employment. We are a Gold Member and sit on the AND Board.

Woolworths will continue to work with AND to build our disability action plan, with a view to significantly increasing work opportunities for people with a disability.

Age diversity

Woolworths provides many young people in Australia and New Zealand with a great start to their careers. More than 79,000 of our team members are under the age of 25. We also value the experience of older workers, with almost 20,000 team members aged over 55 years. Our 25 Year Club, which acknowledges long service and dedication, now has more than 10,000 members.


Woolworths recently became a member of Pride in Diversity, Australia’s national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) workplace inclusion.

We will work closely with Pride Diversity to achieve our goal of being a Gold Tier employer in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).

We also have a number of initiatives underway to build understanding and inclusion of the LGBTI community within Woolworths and our broader customer base. For example, taking part in Wear it Purple Day, internal forums and events, a 1,000+ member Google+ community and a Woolworths Ally support program.


Woolworths understands the importance of having an engaged workforce and that this is a lead indicator of customer satisfaction.

We run a detailed team engagement survey each year. During 2015/16, overall engagement increased by 3% year on year, which was in line with the percentage improvement in our customer feedback scores.

Our engagement survey results highlighted strengths such as our communications approach, encouraging people to speak up, empowering them to make decisions and providing career development options.

We are working on achieving further positive increases so we can match national and international industry engagement standards. Over the next 12 months, we will be measuring team member engagement more frequently and communicating the results regularly.


We continue to offer paid maternity leave to eligible Australian-based employees. This includes six weeks of paid maternity leave, two weeks return-to-work bonus and up to 104 weeks of unpaid parental leave.

  2015 2016
  Accessed Parental Leave Returned from Parental Leave Accessed Parental Leave Returned from Parental Leave
Female 2023 1775 2091 1883
Male 14 15 20 17
Total 2037 1790 2111 1900

At the time of this Report, Woolworths reported a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of 8.43 3, a year on year reduction of 26.24% compared to the restated LTIFR for 2015 4.

In 2016, our Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) was 16.29 5, which was also a reduction of 23.54% compared to the restated TRIFR for 2014/15.

Woolworths Limited LTIFR for 2014-2016

KPI 2014 1 2015 1 2016
LTIFR (million hours worked) 11.78 11.43 8.43
LTIFR (200,000 hours worked) 2.36 2.29 1.69
% change on previous year -4.45% -2.99% -26.24%

    Excludes ALH Group and Home Improvement.

  1. Previous year numbers have been updated to reflect any delayed reporting.

Woolworths Limited LTIFR for 2014-2016

Woolworths Limited LTIFR for 2014-2016
Woolworths Limited TRIFR for 2014-2016
KPI 2014 1 2015 1 2016
TRIFR (million hours worked) 23.31 21.3 16.29
TRIFR (200,000 hours worked) 4.66 4.26 3.26
% change on previous year -26.97% -8.62% -23.54%

    Excludes ALH Group and Home Improvement.

  1. Previous year numbers have been updated to reflect any delayed reporting.

Woolworths Limited TRIFR for 2014-2016

Woolworths Limited TRIFR for 2014-2016

Our vision is to become one of the safest places to work and shop. Our aspiration is ‘Destination ZERO’, a place where every day people go home free from injuries or illness.

During 2015/16, we refreshed Destination ZERO and reinforced our guiding principles as part of revisions to our Safety & Health policy.


During 2015, Woolworths was selected as a Finalist in the National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA) Awards. We won the Highly Commended award for the implementation of the Univer Brake Interlock System (UBIS), a joint venture between Woolworths and Univer that makes our loading docks safer.


To address the risk of manual handling in our business, we engaged a leading ergonomist to conduct an independent review of our retail operations. The recommendations were on how to improve work design for our team members to prevent these types of injuries.

In addition, the Logistics team has adapted a vacuum picker for heavy and high frequency products. This technology is presently being trialled across three distribution centres. The feedback from both front line and operations teams has been very positive.


The solution to eliminate serious injuries from bandsaws was developed by the Woolworths Meat Company team. The bandsaw comes to an immediate and complete stop when contact is made with a special glove worn by the operator. All bandsaws in our meat plants will be transitioned to the new model during FY17.


During 2015/16 we completed a review of risks across the organisation, with a particular focus on critical risks. Woolworths engaged an external expert to facilitate workshops that helped us to better understand our control environment. This work will continue throughout FY17.


Over 100 safety and operational team members from across the country came together to further learn and be inspired about safety. Internal and external speakers presented on various topics including critical risk, mental health, manual handling, workers' compensation and the organisation's overall safety strategy and vision. Additionally, several of our team members were recognised for demonstrating ongoing excellence in safety leadership.


Employee nutrition education

To help Woolworths achieve our vision to become a world class retailer and a leader in nutrition and health, we have made nutrition understanding a key competency for all employees. Our ambition is to engage all our employees as healthy lifestyle advocates so that together, we can inspire a healthier Australia.

To this end, in 2014 we launched the Woolworths Nutrition Academy; an easily-accessible training hub and nutrition information source for all employees. This year we ran a series of staff Lunch and Learn sessions about health and nutrition at the Woolworths Support Office. The sessions were recorded and uploaded onto our All Good employee wellbeing website.

Employee Assistance Program

Stress at work and home can impact our employees’ wellbeing. Through our partnership with Converge Australia, all staff have access to an Employee Assistance Program that offers a confidential counselling service.

safety stats
Destination ZERO – guiding principles

Actively caring for each other

Striving to prevent incidents, injuries and illnesses

No service or task is so urgent and important that we cannot do it safely

We are responsible for our own decisions and actions; the standard we walk past is the standard we accept

We will promote and celebrate our successes.

safety stats
  1. Employees self-declare if they are Indigenous in our employee engagement survey. This result excludes Endeavour Drinks Group, ALH Group and BIG W.
  2. Employees self-declare whether they have a disability in our Woolworths 2016 Voice of the Team Engagement Survey. A rewording of the relevant question to include an example of visual impairment may have skewed the result if employees who wear glasses answered this incorrectly. This result excludes Endeavour Drinks Group, ALH Group and BIG W.
  3. Excludes ALH Group, Masters and HTH.
  4. LTIFR continues to update after the reporting period for delayed reporting.
  5. Excludes ALH Group, Masters and HTH.
  6. TRIFR continues to update after the reporting period for delayed reporting.