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Knowledge Share – What does effective attraction of females to operational roles look like?

NAWO Knowledge Share Forum. What does effective attraction of females to operational roles look like?

“Continuing to maintain the status quo of attracting, developing and promoting employees who ‘fit’ the prevailing model of employee and leader prevents the industry’s capacity to evolve and to be innovative”.
– Sara Prendergast (‘What does effective attraction of females to operational roles look like?’ 2017)

Currently the gender imbalance in the operational sector across Australia is acute. The construction industry sits at 11.4% for female participation, followed by mining at 16.1%, with all other operational industries also lagging (Prendergast, 2017).

“The value of women’s contribution is well understood at a senior level of organisations in Australia. But there has been little research completed on employees at the front line of operations, the understanding of the value of gender diversity at this level of the organisation, and the change management program required to ensure the gender diversity programs are successful at this level.” (Prendergast, 2017)

A study by McKinsey & Co found that “More than 75 percent of CEOs include gender equality in their top ten business priorities, yet gender outcomes across the largest companies are not changing.”

Perhaps a focus on attracting women at an entry or operational level could be part of the solution?

Sara Prendergast undertook a detailed study to further explore this question. Along with Louise Weine, National Director of NAWO, Sara will be sharing her research findings for the construction industry and how they translate to the operational sector more broadly, and facilitating this important NAWO Knowledge Share Forum.


  • How important is it to attract females into operational roles?
  • What are the barriers to entry for females?
  • What part does industry play versus an organisation play in attracting women?
  • What are effective strategies to attract women into operational roles?
  • How can NAWO better support organisations to attract women into operational roles? 

‘What does effective attraction of females to operational roles look like’ NAWO Knowledge Share Forum

DATE:    Wednesday 12 September, 2018

TIME:     11:30 – 2:00 pm (working lunch)
                2:00 – 3:00 pm site tour

HOST:    Asaleo Care

LOCATION: 30-32 Westall Road, Springvale, Victoria, 3171         

COST:    This is a complimentary event 

FACILITATORS: Sara Prendergast and Louise Weine 


Generously sponsored by 


NAWO Knowledge Share Forums are member-only events limited to 12 participants – 1 per NAWO member organisation – who are passionate about driving diversity strategies forward in their organisations. The forums are designed to inspire the co-creation of pragmatic actions that will make a difference in the topic area by:

  • providing an opportunity to share and discuss research findings
  • identifying key learnings and points for discussion
  • sharing initiatives that participating NAWO members have implemented – what works, what doesn’t
  • identifying ideas that all participants can take forward and develop further in their own organisations

Sending out a warm welcome to new Silver member @KelloggCompany from the NAWO network! Such a great company and brand committed supporting women develop their careers and move the dial on gender balance in operations. #inspirationatwork #operations #genderbalance

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