Empowering Women's Equality: Pioneering Change and Championing Gender Parity at Lorna Jane

At Lorna Jane, we are deeply committed to advancing gender equality and actively support measures that accelerate progress in this critical area. Gender inequality remains a pervasive issue, and as a key employer of women—with 97% of our workforce being female—we are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact. Leadership at Lorna Jane is predominantly female, with over 79% of our senior roles held by women, including pivotal positions such as our Founder and CCO, CEO, and CFO.

Understanding the Gender Pay Gap at Lorna Jane

The concept of the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) extends beyond the principle of equal pay for equal work, which ensures that women and men receive the same remuneration for the same role or work of equal value. This principle is a longstanding requirement under Australian law, and at Lorna Jane, we adhere strictly to this, guaranteeing equal pay for equal roles.

However, the GPG measures the difference in the median earnings of women and men across our workforce. As of 31 March 2023, a vast majority of our staff worked in retail positions, with women making up 100% of this segment. While retail team salaries are governed by the General Retail Industry Award, we consistently ensure that our compensation meets or exceeds these standards. Yet, it's important to note that retail team members' average salaries are typically lower than those of our headquarters team members, who perform a variety of functions and disciplines.

Interestingly, 53% of our female Leadership Team members have transitioned from in-store roles to Head Office operations, receiving significant pay raises to align with their expanded skill sets.

At the time of reporting we had 47 males, of which only 16 males were casuals and 1382 females of which 973 were casual. The median wage gap is calculated by arranging all of the salaries from largest to smallest for each gender and finding the middle number.

With the women in our business being more skewed to casuals, the way in which the data is calculated does not represent the truth when it comes to pay equality at Lorna Jane.

We have policies in place to ensure that there are all roles within Lorna Jane are fairly compensated, regardless of the candidate’s gender. We regularly conduct salary reviews internally to ensure equal remuneration.

Challenges and Initiatives in Technology and Leadership

Despite the predominance of women in our workforce, the technology sector presents a challenge, with a competitive market and a candidate pool for certain roles that is predominantly male. From 2021 to 2024, as we shifted towards a decentralized enterprise system and adopted a composable model, we needed to recruit highly skilled specialists, many of those who applied were men, to support this transition. Our Technology team consisted of 18% female vs 82% male.

The high proportion of women in our retail teams and the relatively small number of men in higher-wage positions in Information Technology have resulted in a median total remuneration gap of 37.1% in favour of men for the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 across our business – an imbalance we are determined to correct.

To achieve this, Lorna Jane is committed to nurturing and advancing the careers of women interested in or currently working in technology roles. Among our technology team, two women embarked on their tech careers without previous experience in the field—one transitioning from our retail stores and the other through an internal transfer/cross department. This exemplifies our dedication to internal development and training.

How We Support Our Team Development

In 2023, we introduced a Leadership Bootcamp course at our headquarters, a strategic move to enhance essential leadership skills.

We launched in 2024 a robust succession planning process for our retail team, ensuring a continuous pipeline of capable leaders. This commitment to improving learning opportunities for all team members, regardless of gender, demonstrates our dedication to ongoing development and equality. We will be expandedmthis to our headquarters and warehouse teams in early 2024.

Lorna Jane's journey towards gender equality is ongoing, and we remain dedicated to making impactful changes that foster a more equitable and inclusive workplace.