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Xero’s commitment to gender equality and fair pay for all

Nicole Reid

Nicole Reid

Mar 1, 2022

At Xero, we believe fostering diversity and inclusion is an integral part of supporting our people, customers, partners and their communities. We understand that a diverse workforce is an invaluable strength, and our approach to this is underpinned by our values, our purpose – to make life better for people in small business, their advisors, and communities around the world – and our inclusive work policies and practices. 

By creating an environment where people are able to bring their unique selves to work, and feel like they belong, we can empower our people to do the best work of their lives. We are committed to making a real difference by championing diversity and inclusion within the tech sector and our broader community.

Paying all our people fairly

Gender diversity across all genders, binary and non-binary is a critical component of our approach to diversity and inclusion at Xero. A core area of focus for us is prioritising gender pay equity for all our people. We believe pay equity is one of the most impactful measures of ensuring fair pay for all. 

Gender pay equity ensures that people of all genders who are performing the same role or who are performing different work of equal or comparable value, are paid equitably. I am pleased to say that for pay equity at Xero, the total remuneration difference for males and females is less than 1% when benchmarked to median market remuneration for equivalent roles1.

We have robust practices in place to review our gender pay equity, including:

  • Six monthly reviews of our peoples’ remuneration compared to the market to regularly measure gender pay equity enabling us to take action on any identified issues
  • Analysis of new hires to ensure there is no gender bias in hiring for any given roles 
  • Analysis of percentage increases from salary reviews to ensure we are not inadvertently contributing to a gender pay equity gap as part of these salary reviews
  • Annual salary reviews also include employees who are on parental leave 

We also recognise that reviewing and reporting on our gender pay gap is an important aspect of championing fair pay. This is why we’re proud to participate in the MindTheGap initiative in New Zealand. Next week, on International Women’s Day, MindTheGap is asking New Zealand headquartered organisations to disclose their gender pay gap and signal their commitment to paying everyone fairly for their work. 

A gender pay gap is different to pay equity. Xero’s gender pay gap is calculated as the difference in the median full time equivalent remuneration for males and females. Remuneration includes an employee’s base salary, plus any commission or bonuses paid and any share-based payments granted within the last 12 months. Pay gaps do not include any consideration of the roles that individuals are in, and unlike pay equity, can be impacted by the number of males or females an organisation has at different levels of the organisation or in different roles.

As at February 2022, Xero’s global pay gap is 11%2. Comparable industry figures in New Zealand are 17%3 and 25% in Australia4. Our pay gap includes all permanent and fixed term employees, including our leadership team. 

While there is always more work to do, we believe our commitment to pay equity combined with other inclusive work policies and practices is consistent with MindTheGap’s core objectives to ensure everyone is paid fairly for their work.

Our commitment

Reporting our pay gap is just one of the steps we are taking to promote greater gender diversity at Xero. We have a number of programs that focus on helping to address factors that contribute to a raw gender pay gap – such as addressing the fact there are a disproportionate number of males graduating from tertiary institutions with STEM-related qualifications. 

We are also working to encourage more women to join the technology industry through our support of various education initiatives such as Code Like a Girl; co-creating the Trailblazing Women in Tech quiz for girls aged 9-13 with the She# team; and supporting our people to participate as mentors in the GirlBoss Edge engineering and technology online career accelerator for high school-aged young women. In 2021, we also resumed some in-person activities, such as hosting school student work experience days for young women and Pasifika students, and ShadowTech days for teachers.

Additionally, we are focused on ensuring strong female representation across our management teams, and removing roadblocks to gender equality in all aspects of life at Xero. 

In FY21, we set numerical targets for representation of women at Xero. For our leadership team and across the company, we took a 40:40:20 approach – at least 40% women and 40% men, with the remaining 20% unspecified to allow for flexibility and to recognise that gender is non-binary. As of 31 March 2021, we achieved this target – 63% of the Xero leadership team was female, 42% of our employees were women, and we had three female and five male directors on our Board.

Recognising Xero’s investment in fostering a more inclusive and equitable workplace, we are excited that for the third year in a row, Xero was included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for 2022. 

We are committed to building on the work we are doing at Xero in pay equity and other areas of focus – such as gender pay gap – in all our markets and evolving how we report our diversity and inclusion efforts.

We’re proud to be an organisation that champions gender equality, and celebrates diversity in all its forms.


1 Xero analysis February 2022. To calculate gender pay equity, we assess how our employees’ remuneration compares to the median remuneration for their equivalent local market role (e.g. how much an Accountant employed by Xero in New Zealand is paid compared to what the market median is for an Accountant in New Zealand). The median position for males is then compared to median position for females to determine the pay equity gap.

2 Gender pay gap is calculated as the difference in the median full time equivalent remuneration for males and females. It is calculated by jurisdiction, with the group number being the weighted median pay gap across all Xero’s jurisdictions. Remuneration used as a basis for the calculation includes employee base salary plus any commission or bonus payments received and any share-based payments granted within the last 12 months. Employees who have commenced employment with Xero, or have been added to the Xero Group, within the last 12 months are excluded from the calculation.

3 Stats NZ June 2021 survey results for information, communications and technology sector.

4 WGEA May 2021 survey results for the professional, scientific and technical services.

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