NAWO QLD opened their 2020 event series last week with the New Decade, New Career? Dare to be different! event hosted by new NAWO gold member, Aurizon.
Aurizon is a bulk haulage company who transport 700,000 tonnes of freight every day – primarily coal but also other bulk commodities including grain and iron ore. Aurizon’s commitment to gender equality is shown through the last 10 years where they have doubled their female representation to 22% and they are targeting 40% by 2025.
Their newly formed Gender Balance Reference Group is focused on identifying solutions to create and maintain a future workforce composition that represents a balanced workforce. They are focusing on three streams: Attract, Engage & Retain and Develop and they believe that Leader owned inclusion will be the key to meaningful action.
Commencing with an introduction by Aurizon’s EGM of Coal and Head of Aurizon’s Gender Balance Reference Group, Ed McKeiver set the scene of the diversity journey Aurizon is on and their goals and targets for the medium term. Ed also discussed their “What do you mean by that” campaign as a way of gently calling out unconscious bias behaviour. An example was given of the female and male colleagues at a meeting and the counterparty automatically assumed the female was there to take notes. She was able to respond with “but what do you mean by that” and engage in a conversation.
The key note speaker Sarah Dixson, GM Bulk East for Aurizon, held the audience from the moment she started sharing her story. Sarah began by providing an overview of her career (one that included many interesting choices and changes). She then bravely shared an honest and authentic insight into her battles and experiences of self doubt and her inner critic which often appeared in the “frenzy of not enough” (what if I’m not smart enough, or don’t know enough…….) and how she manages this self doubt to have the career she desires.
Sarah had some tangible take away messages including:
1. Personal clarity of her values
2. Know what motivates you
3. Having a support team
Sarah’s way of managing self doubt is as follows:
Sarah’s closing advice when delivering a presentation with passion – a sip of water reverses tear ducts!
Excitingly Aurizon announced their decision to join NAWO at this event; recognising that they have the opportunity to learn through their association with NAWO there is also a very clear willingness to share from their experiences as well. Welcome to the network Aurizon and thank you Sarah, Ed and team for hosting this fabulous event.