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In August last year I joined our Diversity Council, an initiative championed by our CEO and charged with ensuring we make the most of the skills and strengths of our people irrespective of their background or beliefs.
So far, I am proud to say the experience has been both enlightening and enriching. Since joining the Council, I have also taken on the role of Chair of the Gender Diversity Working Group, where our goal is to progress gender equality by increasing female participation and leadership in our workforce.
Undoubtedly, achieving gender diversity and inclusion takes commitment and effort and as a business, we are still in the early stages of this journey.
What excites me however is what we have achieved so far – from the delivery of unconscious bias training to our key leaders through to initiatives like the Ventia Awards, where year-on-year we celebrate and showcase the successes of our people.
It is no secret that our industry is male-dominated – this is not unique. What is unique however is that as a business we are lucky enough to work across a multitude of diverse industries and projects, and we have some impressive people doing some extraordinary things every single day.
As I reflect on our journey, I am reminded of a Forbes report that found 90% of the companies surveyed had gender diversity programs in place, but only 27% of women said they have benefited from it. We must strive to question assumptions, challenge statements that limit gender diversity and work to remove barriers to progress gender biases.
This Friday 8 March on International Women’s Day I will be taking the time to reflect on our diverse workforce and how these extraordinary people drive our success and are ultimately the essence of who we are.
While there is still plenty of work to do I am personally committed to encouraging a culture that fosters talent from all walks of life and I am optimistic about what we can achieve.