Transport and politics need to shift gender weighting: Crozier

By: By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi

But VTA lunch told quotas are simplistic while skills and talent identification are crucial

Transport and politics need to shift gender weighting: Crozier
Georgie Crozier says it's not always a numbers game


The one thing that the Victorian Parliament and the transport and logistics sector has in common is the lack of females found within both sectors.

Only 50 out of the 128 Parliament members are women and nearly 90 per cent of the transport and logistics sector are men.

Despite the figures, one has to look beyond the numbers when bringing experience to the table, the Victorian shadow minister for women Georgie Crozier says.

Delivering a keynote address at the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA’s) recent Annual Women’s Lunch, Crozier says it’s important that companies don’t subscribe to quotas.

"When you look at your transport and logistics industry and the challenges you have, we have them in politics as well," Crozier says.

"This debate is well known; when I started in politics there were only 15 women and we now run at 12 per cent, so you’re well ahead in your logistics and transport industry.

"However, I say it’s not always about numbers, look at the experience that you bring to the table.

"I have this debate with my own colleagues because not everyone agrees with me; when I’m on the floor at Parliament I don’t look across the chamber and say I’m debating males or females, I’m debating a policy and issues."

Progression requires talent and companies need to get skilled people where required, Director of Victoria University’s Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics Dr Hermione Parsons says.

"That non-traditional work is absolutely brilliant and fantastic and you should be looking at women as your possibility," Parsons says.

"At the moment, my fear is that this industry is suffering very significantly because we’re not connecting in with the talent in every aspect of population.

"Eighty-nine percent of the industry in transport is male; that’s OK if you want to fail as a business."

Victorian Ports Corporation CEO Rachel Johnson, who has climbed the career ladder through senior roles in both private and public sector, says it’s important for women to take on any challenges and accept mistakes along the way.

"If you want to be involved, always say yes, no matter what it is," Johnson says.

"And accept that you’re going to make some mistakes because everybody makes mistakes.

"Anyone that doesn’t make mistakes doesn’t really do anything."

Viva Energy Australia human resources general manager Jodie Haydon says flexible working options can entice more females to a workforce.

Twenty-five percent of the company’s workforce is women, but most of those positions are found within human resources, marketing and less in non-traditional roles.

The right leaders bring the best in people – some of the things her company focuses on are collaboration and inclusiveness, Haydon says.

"Right leaders bring the best in people that allow both men and women to develop a career.

"Creating an environment where it’s about outcomes and not how many hours you put into a day is really important to both men and women who have caring responses or other interests outside work," she adds.

"In summary, it’s about the organisation and the role they can play that will foster careers for women."

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