Technical Director – Circular Economy at GHD
WMRR WA Circular Economy Working Group Chair 

What does International Women's Day (IWD) mean to you?

For me IWD is an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come. My workplace today is a much different place from the one I entered as a new graduate and the changes have all been for the better. There are women and people from diverse backgrounds working at all levels of seniority and subject matters. It’s a safer, more enjoyable and collaborative workplace than the one I entered many years ago. It’s also a chance to reflect on how diverse workforces influence how businesses function and grow. For example, I can’t imagine that companies and organisations would be so concerned about Sustainability without the influence of a diverse workforce and without a diversity of people in leadership positions. There is more work to do as evidenced by the recent gender pay-gap report, but I’m grateful for the progress so far. 

What challenges (if any) did you face as a woman entering the industry? How did you address them?

One of the biggest difficulties being a woman in any male-dominated industry is the lack of a network and role models. Unfortunately, it remains the case that women are more likely to listen to women and it’s easier to talk a problem through with someone who understands the unique challenges you face. This is not a problem I experience in my current role, but when I entered the waste industry, I was trying to start a business and it was a lonely place to be. I sought out other women and we made an effort to collectively listen to and support each other. 

How can we encourage future female leaders both generally and within WARR?

More and more people are interested in WARR and the Circular Economy. If we want to create pathways for women, we need to showcase and celebrate all the different types of work that women do in this industry. We also need to show off the wide range of jobs that people can do. There are diverse teams of people achieving great things right across the country and they deserve to be celebrated. 

What advice would you offer a young woman considering a career in WARR? 

This is an industry where it’s possible to make a real and lasting difference to the world around you. Career pathways range from science, environment and engineering to social and communications and there has never been a better time to put your hand up and jump into a new role.

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