"What SHE said" Infrastructure and Services Divisional event

Last week over 150 people across the Infrastructure & Services (I&S) Division came together to listen to the latest thinking around creating gender inclusive workplaces including new research from our own staff.

What SHE said, organised by the I&S Diversity & Inclusion Council, aimed to create an engaging way to increase awareness of the remaining cultural challenges we face using a combination of facts and personal stories.

Guest speakers included journalist and author of Stop Fixing Women, Catherine Fox, and Acting NSW Public Service Commissioner Catherine Grummer, who both brought passion and humour to the subject.

Catherine Fox spoke of the historical approach to improving gender diversity in the workplace which focused on a perceived ‘lack’ in women - including a lack of confidence and negotiation skills – and how this approach failed to address and reduce the systemic causes of gender inequality. She helped to shatter myths around inherent gender differences in work behaviour, called on men to be allies for change, and shared many examples of small but effective immediate actions suggested for men included calling out sexist remarks and inviting women to speak during meetings.

Catherine Grummer shared the latest statistics and priorities for gender diversity across the NSW public service , including a ‘pinch point’ graph showing at which pay grades the gender profile across the sector switched from significantly more female, to more male. Grummer went on to point to the lack of females applying for executive roles - with male applicants outnumbering females almost three to one. Grummer additionally spoke about the importance of sponsorship, as opposed to mentorship, of women.

Despite these high quality speakers, the overwhelming highlight of the day was the presentation of the I&S Listening Project findings. Tanya Vincent, Virginie Vernon and Justin Perrot had interviewed 1 in 7 females in I&S in Grades 8-TSSM – a statistically representative sample. The 10 themes were powerfully presented with I&S Executive Directors reading directly from research participant quotes, some of which were hard to hear and suggested ‘boys club’ mentalities and bullying still exist in pockets of the organisation. It also highlighted stories of ‘heroes’, flexibility and recruitment successes.

The event was opened by Secretary Rodd Staples, and closed with Deputy Secretary I&S Stephen Troughton, lending their full support to making positive workplace change a reality.

Attendees then workshopped suggestions for improvement. The next step will be the release of the What SHE Said report and actions on International Women’s Day.

Last week over 150 people across the Infrastructure & Services (I&S) Division came together to listen to the latest thinking around creating gender inclusive workplaces including new research from our own staff.

What SHE said, organised by the I&S Diversity & Inclusion Council, aimed to create an engaging way to increase awareness of the remaining cultural challenges we face using a combination of facts and personal stories.

Guest speakers included journalist and author of Stop Fixing Women, Catherine Fox, and Acting NSW Public Service Commissioner Catherine Grummer, who both brought passion and humour to the subject.

Catherine Fox spoke of the historical approach to improving gender diversity in the workplace which focused on a perceived ‘lack’ in women - including a lack of confidence and negotiation skills – and how this approach failed to address and reduce the systemic causes of gender inequality. She helped to shatter myths around inherent gender differences in work behaviour, called on men to be allies for change, and shared many examples of small but effective immediate actions suggested for men included calling out sexist remarks and inviting women to speak during meetings.

Catherine Grummer shared the latest statistics and priorities for gender diversity across the NSW public service , including a ‘pinch point’ graph showing at which pay grades the gender profile across the sector switched from significantly more female, to more male. Grummer went on to point to the lack of females applying for executive roles - with male applicants outnumbering females almost three to one. Grummer additionally spoke about the importance of sponsorship, as opposed to mentorship, of women.

Despite these high quality speakers, the overwhelming highlight of the day was the presentation of the I&S Listening Project findings. Tanya Vincent, Virginie Vernon and Justin Perrot had interviewed 1 in 7 females in I&S in Grades 8-TSSM – a statistically representative sample. The 10 themes were powerfully presented with I&S Executive Directors reading directly from research participant quotes, some of which were hard to hear and suggested ‘boys club’ mentalities and bullying still exist in pockets of the organisation. It also highlighted stories of ‘heroes’, flexibility and recruitment successes.

The event was opened by Secretary Rodd Staples, and closed with Deputy Secretary I&S Stephen Troughton, lending their full support to making positive workplace change a reality.

Attendees then workshopped suggestions for improvement. The next step will be the release of the What SHE Said report and actions on International Women’s Day.

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Page published: 09 February 2018, 13:34