I was lucky enough to join Advisian, part of the WorleyParsons Group, in 2010. This was my first managerial role responsible for people, and I really wanted to focus on doing the right thing. I was very lucky that I had a wonderful female boss and mentor in Jan Hayes who helped shape my thinking and my outlook at work. She is a technically-gifted person who has helped shape the Australian oil and gas landscape, and is still one of the smartest people I know.
Since 2010, I have employed a reasonable number of people with WorleyParsons and Advisian, and fortunately, the areas of the business that I have been a part of have always grown, even during the quiet time. When I reflect back over the last 20 hires, of which at least 75% were female - a rather odd statistic for an energy support business - I wondered what did I actually do differently?
Did I go out to hire a female over a male? No. I focused on getting the right person for the role, the person with the right attitude and ability to be able to listen to our clients and then deliver. On reflection this happened to be from not only a mix of females but also a mix of cultures and experiences too.
In the past few weeks I have listened to a few prominent speakers on the topic of diversity and inclusion, one of which was Fiona Vines, Diversity & Inclusion Lead at BHP. As a typical man, I was left with some questions about certain aspects of the talk and wondered what I could do differently. I came to the conclusion that I had almost missed the point, and the inclusion component was equally important as the diversity part. If you want/need different opinions and alternate ideas, then you need a diverse pool of thoughts. However these ideas and new knowledge are useless if you are not willing to embrace them and include it in your business. Thank you, Fiona.