Committed to Gender Equality

NEXTDC is 100% committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive corporate culture where all our people feel valued, respected and are confident to embrace their authentic selves.

We aim to provide equitable remuneration, treatment, access, opportunity, and personal and professional advancement for all our people. We are committed to closing the gender imbalance and pay gap within our organisation to achieve gender equality.

NEXTDC acknowledges that we need to improve our gender pay gap and recognises this is a long-term challenge. We have some work to do but we passionately believe that by focusing on this issue, and adopting an agile and continuous improvement approach, we will get there.

Our Gender Pay Gap in organisational context       

NEXTDC is a lean organisation in the technology sector which has historically been a male-dominated industry. With few like-for-like roles, the majority are unique and span across a broad range of highly technical and non-technical disciplines.

That said, we want to be a change agent who is leading the way with breaking through this legacy glass ceiling for women to access leadership roles. Where NEXTDC currently has like-for-like roles, (e.g. Sales, Customer Delivery and Customer Service) our most recent pay audit identified our pay gap in these areas to be less than 5%.

What is shaping our Gender Pay Gap?

Our annual remuneration reviews ensure equitable compensation by aligning pay with performance, contributions, skills, and market benchmarks. Our most recent review process, conducted in November 2023, provided us the confidence that employees in similar roles are paid equitably and that pay disparity is being driven by other factors, primary the gender imbalance in technical and leadership positions.

Proportionally, we have fewer women in these positions which tend to attract a higher base rate of pay, as well as the opportunity for further short-term and long-term incentives.

Gender Imbalance in Technical Roles

It is challenging to attract females for roles which are still male dominated e.g. IT, Engineering, Data Centre Technicians. Given the dramatic growth of the data centre industry over the past decade, the industry is highly competitive on a global and local basis and the demand for a niche workforce is high. This means:

  • Tertiary and vocational education and training is only just starting to catch up with the growth, therefore skills and experience applicable to our industry are in finite supply.
  • Retaining talent is a challenge so these roles with a legacy of male dominance can be paid at a premium.
  • Due to the shortage of skilled and experienced technical personnel, technical roles are more likely to attract further performance and growth incentives, which contributes to our pay gap, particularly in the professional segment.

Gender Imbalance in Leadership Roles

Like all industries, we see higher pay at more senior levels and – similar to the technical roles alluded to above – these roles have historically been male dominated, with the average tenure of our leadership group being ~7 years.

Remuneration for these senior positions include performance and growth incentives at a percentage of base pay. The success of NEXTDC in recent years has contributed further to the earning potential of leaders and have thereby contributed to the gap.

So, what are we doing to bridge the gap?

Review of remuneration and reward programs

One of our key initiatives in FY24 was to complete a holistic review of our remuneration and reward program with the view to re-establishing strategies for each program so they include new eligibility criteria that better establishes fairness and equity.

  • Current commitments: We gained commitment and buy-in from our Executive team and Board of Management, with the following remuneration and reward components available:
    •  Remuneration: Competitive remuneration packages that align pay with performance, contributions to organisational success, skills, and market benchmarks.
    •  Short-term Incentives (STI): Financial rewards for achieving individual objectives that link to delivery of specific projects or programs of work aligned to NEXTDCs short-term business priorities. Issued annually at the discretion of NEXTDC’s Executive team.
    •  Long-term Incentives (LTI): Designed to retain high-value employees through the issuing of equity in NEXTDC (ASX stock), and are tied to sustained contributions to NEXTDC’s growth and success over a three plus year period. Issued annually at the discretion of NEXTDC’s Board.
  • New in FY24: To remove any possible gender bias around eligibility and percentage of earnings for the two reward programs (STI and LTI), all employees were graded against a comprehensive levelling system, which was based solely on a person’s role and scope within the organisation.         
    • Next action: We are currently engaging in an exercise to formalise policies and processes around these programs to increase transparency across the organisation. Our remuneration and reward structures will be regularly reviewed by management, as well as the People and Culture team, to identify and rectify any gender-based disparities or other equity issues in the program.

 Inclusive Hiring Practices

  • NEXTDC is currently undertaking a review of all recruitment and promotion strategies and policies to ensure an inclusive and equitable approach to hiring.
  • We are deploying targeted strategies to attract diverse talent and increase the representation of women – e.g. advertising on Work180’s Job Board to engage with a community of women aligned to our values.
  • In 2024, we are building a new graduate program with first inductions in 2025 (from 2024 graduates). This program has defined mandates to deploy inclusive hiring practices to promote STEM roles and contribute to attracting more females into our higher-paid technical and specialist roles at a grass roots level. This will roll into improved gender pay parity as they progress their careers with NEXTDC or elsewhere.

Leadership Representation

  • We acknowledge the importance of gender diversity in leadership positions and are a signatory of 40:40 Vision. Meaning, we have publicly committed to achieving gender balance in senior leadership by 2030, being 40% women.
  • NEXTDC’s aim is to increase women in leadership at all levels through attraction strategies as well as leadership development programs.
  • We have partnered with Executive Central and Women Rising to provide tailored coaching and development for experienced and emerging female leaders, giving them the confidence and critical skills to lead and influence. 

External Partners

  •  NEXTDC has been recognised as an inclusive employer by WORK180 since August 2023. This partnership focuses on enhancing our workplace standards for all employees to thrive – particularly women – and to eliminate gender-based unconscious bias.
  •  A crucial part of this collaboration is Work180’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion tool, which helps us to annually review our initiatives, policies, and metrics. It will help us to identify existing strengths and areas requiring improvement, as well as benchmark our gender pay disparity against other employers to drive positive change and continual improvement. 

Inclusive Workplace

  • NEXTDC is committed to continuously reviewing and refining our policies and procedures to ensure they promote fairness and equity in all aspects of employment. This includes hiring, salary reviews and additional remunerative benefits.
  • For the last two years, we have provided unconscious bias training for employees as part of our compliance and corporate culture programs. This encourages open communication, empathy, and understanding of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. It serves to eliminate any social stereotypes we may hold for certain groups of people e.g. race, disability, gender or sexual orientation.
  • NEXTDC prides itself on our flexible work arrangements to support work/life balance for all our people. We know that social and economic structures continue to reinforce women as primary caregivers, whether that be for children or elders, and we are committed to providing a supportive workplace, including:
    • Gender neutral parental leave benefits: We are providing 20 paid weeks to primary caregiver which extends to our parents who have been tragically impacted by stillborn or newborn death.
    • Five days compassionate leave is on offer to employees for a variety of reasons including support for anyone who has, or whose partner has suffered a miscarriage.
  • We also promote a NEXTDC Women community. This is a place for our women to connect, collaborate and thrive by providing a safe space for discussions on work/life balance, career journeys and other challenges such as pay disparity and inequality that are prevalent for women in the workplace.

Closing statement

As we have outlined above, achieving gender equality and closing the pay gap aren't just aspirations at NEXTDC, they're core values. Our current gap is in need of improvement, but it's been shaped by historical male dominance in the technology industry, current skills shortages in our niche sector of the technology industry and long-term incentive programs that have matured handsomely for legacy male leaders across the business driven by the company’s growth and success.

That is why we are actively implementing initiatives like being a signatory to 40:40 Vision, engaging with Work180, the creation of a STEM graduate program with defined diversity objectives, proactive pay equity audits, unconscious bias training and benchmark flexible work arrangements.

We are confident these efforts, combined with our unwavering commitment, will pave the way for a truly equitable and inclusive workplace where talent thrives irrespective of gender.