Group Manager, Policy at LMS Energy
WMRR SA/NT Branch President

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

For me, it is a day to celebrate the women who have already made life so much more inclusive than in the past, to enhance awareness of continuing inequality and to highlight the actions that need to be taken here and globally. 

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

The key challenge I initially faced was gaining the focused attention of senior stakeholders in various group discussions when engaging as one of several agency representatives. I quickly addressed that by speaking up clearly and confidently with a strong knowledge of our laws, policies and potential directions while advancing pragmatic approaches. I demonstrated respect, trust and confidence in others and received it in return. Most particularly, I claimed my voice at every table rather than waiting for someone to create a space for me. At a practical level, as divorced parent with primary care of a toddler at the time of commencing in the sector, I highlighted the difficulties faced in attending events that were held outside of childcare/OHSC hours and pursued more in-work hour events.

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

First, do not underestimate the power of simply acknowledging the value an individual brings and encouraging them to apply for leadership training, roles or to show their strengths. I have received kind feedback and active encouragement to pursue various opportunities from a number of senior men and women in our sector (thank you!), and it works! Second, unpack assumptions about the traits considered necessary for certain roles (are they really or could a different style bring a new take?) and how characteristics are considered (eg, she’s friendly and kind while we need someone strong and resilient – these various characteristics are not mutually exclusive!). Third, and importantly, consider how to keep building flexibility into roles – in work schedules and also by further reviewing opportunities for sharing out responsibilities in more senior roles to aid more balanced hours – to assist more women to apply directly and also to help senior men with being able to participate in home responsibilities.

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

Our sector is full of really great people who are committed to innovation and making a difference while offering a great diversity of roles to suit any skillset – so come join us!

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