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NAWO Knowledge Network

Thanks to Jenny Gillam – Director, Jenny Gillam Consulting & NAWO VIC State Committee Chair, for providing the following report on the inaugural NAWO Knowledge Network event, which was held on the 25th of July…

The aim of the NAWO Knowledge Network is simple – to create a fertile space to incubate, grow and harvest ideas that are driving the attraction, retention and development of female talent within our fabulous NAWO network.

Up to 10 organisations from the NAWO Corporate Member community were invited to attend a luncheon at Dulux to network, share and learn about what is working for their organisations and the pitfalls to be avoided. It is an approach we anticipate will turn up the dial on operational diversity and inclusion best practice and outcomes throughout the NAWO community.

The participants from BP, Orora, Bunnings, Dulux, Goodyear and Dunlop Tyres were asked to contribute and share the approaches their organisations are taking with respect to:

  1. normalizing flexibility in the workplace and/or
  2. taking a fresh approach to marketing opportunities in operations to female talent

The objectives for the luncheon were to:

  1. connect like-minded professionals and inspire them to take new ideas back to their workplace
  2. discuss successes, lessons learned, and how to genuinely make a difference to specific topics relevant to creating truly inclusive workplace cultures.

Some of the ideas shared included:

Fresh approaches to attracting women:

  • Trialling ‘Textio’ by scanning common job advertisements. The Textio software scans and highlights ‘masculine’ and gender neutral words that could deter women from applying for positions. It also focuses on improving the job advertisement overall.
  • Working on rebuilding the careers website to include a diversity focus – including videos and flexibility videos and stories.
  • Trialling ‘unbranded’ advertisements to attract team members in the business who haven’t considered applying for leadership roles. Follow up phone calls have focused on inclusion, flexibility and great career opportunities.

Initiatives for normalising agile working include:

  • Engagement of employees by Executive Leadership Team –  livestreamed panel sessions; fortnightly discussion ‘huddles’.
  • Conversations with CEO on agile working options – how we do it, how we make it work and why it improves team performance.
  • Leaders talking about their agile working practices.
  • Establishing part-time network to support part-time workers.
  • During restructures, advertising all roles as agile available, unless pre-approved as an exception. Aim is to have this standard for all roles.
  • Normalising flexible work by telling stories about employees (including senior employees and men) working flexibly, job share, flexi hours, work from home, etc.

Feedback from the day was very positive. The ‘working lunch’ time slot worked well and, because it was small and informal, people all contributed to the discussion. Participants reported that they got some great ideas and, just as importantly, they further developed their network for sharing ideas for the future.

We are looking forward to future NAWO Knowledge Network events to incubate, grow and harvest ideas for driving the attraction, retention and development of female talent!

If any of our members would like to host a NAWO Knowledge Network event, please contact Allison Dodd.

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