‘Having our Say’ on International Women’s Day

(L-R) Barbara Crossley (Umwelt MD), Pam Dean-Jones (facilitator), Al Riley, Sarah Bell and Kim Brenton.

Monday 8th March at 12 noon, the Umwelt team across the country stopped to have an important discussion about the importance of gender equality and strategies for change as part of International Women’s Day.  Led by Pam Dean-Jones (Principal Environmental Consultant), a highly respected senior member of our team, our panel included a number of terrific women from across the business nationally, including Barbara Crossley (Managing Director), Malinda Facey (NSW Infrastructure Lead and Sydney Region Manager), Claire Stephenson (Hydrogeology Service Lead), Al Riley (Ecology NSW Manager), Kim Brenton (Management Accountant) and Sarah Bell (Senior Social Consultant).

Some of the topics covered during the discussion focused on the importance of having strong female mentors and mentoring programs in the workplace; the load that many women carry in undertaking dual roles in the household and workplace; discrepancy in pay for women; and early conditioning of children in gender roles. The discussion was direct and forthright, with those involved drawing upon their own personal experiences across their respective careers.

Umwelt’s support of women in the workforce was frequently noted, with panel participants highlighting the initiatives offered by the business such as primary and secondary carer’s leave for both men and women; remuneration gap analysis to address pay discrepancy; flexible working arrangements; and the implementation of robust policies relating to sexual harassment, domestic violence etc.  There was also a shout out to the many terrific men in our team, who support equality for the women in their lives, in the workplace and on the home/family front. Further strategies that Umwelt could put in place to ensure further equity, empowerment, and enhancement of women; and how we can use our strengths to contribute both within the workplace and more broadly at a community level (#ChoosetoChallenge), were also discussed.

This important week, which has enabled further reflection on where we have come and what’s next, will conclude with Claire Stephenson from our Brisbane office sponsoring a very important event this Friday 12th March, on the Nature of Leadership, facilitated by the Professional Environmental Women’s Association (PEWA) in Brisbane. We look forward to Claire’s wrap-up on the evening and the discussion.

IWD also provides an opportunity for us to celebrate our own Managing Director – Barbara Crossley’s – recent selection on a list of the Hunters most inspiring female business leaders.  Well done Barb, you are a terrific role model and continue to inspire us in all you do for Umwelt and for our team.