Prime Mover Magazine

Embracing diversity

Embracing diversity

The inaugural Women In Industry Conference in June provided the Australian industrial sector with an opportunity to create a broad-based action plan to tackle gender issues and tap into the power of diversity.

Complementing this year’s annual Women in Industry Awards in Melbourne, the first Women In Industry Conference brought together successful women from the mining, manufacturing, engineering and road transport industries to share first-hand insights on the issue of gender equality through a series of case studies, panels and roundtable discussions.

“Even though our industries are all very different, we came together because we share a common interest in advocating the opportunities they provide for ambitious women, as well as the positive impact women can have on businesses in the industrial space,” explained host Bianca Dohnt, Editor of Prime Mover Magazine, in her opening address (pictured below).

A reoccurring issue throughout the Conference was the low proportion of women working across the industrial sector at large – the transport industry, for example, is currently facing a recruitment crisis that may be elevated by tapping into the female talent pool, Bianca said. “After all, women make up 46.1 per cent of Australia's workforce*, but only four per cent of the driving population.”

In line with that, it was highlighted that women make up only 34.1 per cent of senior management roles* across the entire Australian workforce. To illustrate the situation and explore strategies to change it, keynote speakers, Jennifer Conley – Executive Director at the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council –and Robyn Elliot – Senior Director for Strategic Expansion Projects at CSL – therefore agreed to shed some light on how they earned their positions and the work they had to put in.

“If you want something, you have to work hard and keep at it. Tenacity is key,” Robyn shared. “Men and women tend to have very different levels of confidence in pursuing promotions, with women often not putting their hand up for a role because they think they might not be qualified. No one is going to hand you anything, you have to raise your voice, and have a clear outline as to why you deserve the role. Knowledge is power.”

The full report is available in the August edition of Prime Mover, out now!

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