Today, across the globe, communities are celebrating the strength of women in social, economic, cultural and political arenas. It’s a day where the collective sharing of stories, successes and struggles creates a powerful movement and message that strives for gender parity.
This year’s #PressforProgress theme has a strong message to encourage everyone to think, act and be gender inclusive, which resonates with me personally as gender parity and inclusion is not just a ‘womens’ issue’. We can’t incite cultural change on our own. It takes a team effort, so this year I want to give a shout out to the remarkable men who are working hard both behind the scenes and on the ground to help shape a new set of values and expectations to help bring greater diversity into the workforce.
In no particular order, I raise my glass today to these men helping to close the gender diversity gap that still exists in Australia’s mining industry…
David Flanangan - Battery Minerals
Recently I posted an article on my tainted experience of an industry event where equality was the last thing I felt due to the actions of some. David personally reached out to me after reading this, expressing his distress at the situation and wanting to brainstorm initiatives that the industry can do to increase female participation and positively influence mindset. He's proactive, resourceful and a believer in collaboration at all levels. Thank you David for reaching out.
Mick Spencer, Stuart O'Leary, Chris Cleary - Curragh Mine
Mick, Stu and Chris lead the Optimisation and Productivity teams at Curragh. Throughout their leadership they've challenged everyone in their team to see how they can work better and more effectively. Fostering a sense of community in what can be a challenging culture, and understanding that getting the best from someone means understanding and accommodating them, they have successfully introduced twenty tailored work arrangements allowing for flexibility. This in turn reduces stress and increases motivation to perform.
Ryan Syers - BHP Billiton
With procurement responsibilities for BHP, Ryan took a closer look at the workwear options available for women and listened to what women were asking for. Rather than finding something available that was ‘close enough’ to demand, Ryan set about creating options that would make female employees and contractors feel comfortable and confident at work. When I got the call from Ryan to design from scratch the workwear women at BHP were asking for, I knew I was working with a great man who looked beyond the ease of current suppliers to ensure women at BHP felt included from their first day at work to their last. The result? Custom designed uniforms!
Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest - Fortescue Metals Group
Not a week goes by where I don’t read in the news about the under representation of women on corporate boards. Bucking that trend however is Twiggy, whose board comprises five women and four men, demonstrating diversity can be achieved when it's prioritised. Those same news articles I read herald diversity as a direct link to a better bottom line – and why wouldn’t it if different backgrounds and ways of thinking can mean challenging the status quo and creating innovative solutions? I reckon Twiggy is on to something and I’m so proud of the commitment he has made to being inclusive of women at the decision making level.Who in your professional or personal world is an advocate for inclusion and diversity? Who’s making a difference that might otherwise go unnoticed? It’s time to give them a shout-out!