Did you know that flexibility and inclusion at work fuels team performance, employee satisfaction and excellent customer service? You might be surprised to find out that people working in inclusive teams are also more effective, more innovative and more likely to stay with their employer. To put it simply, diverse and flexible teams are better — they get better outcomes for our people, and that means better outcomes for our customers and communities.
Two big focus areas that will help us build more inclusive and diverse teams across Transport are improving our gender balance and increasing the number of Aboriginal employees working for us. In the last edition of Transport Mode, we shared our targets for improving in these two areas and we are pretty proud that we achieved them early. It’s a great start, but there is still a long way to go and we’ve set even bigger goals this year.
As of April, 27.9% of our leaders are female and this year we want to get to 34%. And with only 1.27% of our workforce made up of Aboriginal employees, we are still not reflective of the population we serve. We want to continue changing this and get to 1.3% this year, and keep improving from there.
More women donning the tool belt
The Sydney Trains Apprentice Unit is on a mission to encourage more women to get into trades.
They set up Try-a-Trade Days to give women the opportunity to get hands on and experiment with tools in a safe and friendly environment. The aim was to get women to consider working in a typically male-dominated industry which they may not have done before.
Apprentice Katrina Stewart said the Try-a-Trade Days are inspiring women into the industry.
“Having more women get involved is proving to people that trades aren’t just for guys. Anyone can go out there and learn to use tools just like the boys can.”
The results speak for themselves.
Jamie Eid who heads up the Apprentice Program said the new approach attracted more than 100 women to apply for apprenticeships and they doubled the number of women hired from the previous year.
“It’s great to see new female talent coming through the organisation. I’m proud to have been part of the team that has made this happen.”
Not only did they achieve their goal of increasing the number of female apprentices at Sydney Trains, the team’s efforts also won them the Champion of Diversity and Inclusion Award at the 2017 Transport Awards.
Careers support changing lives
Sherry-Ann Toomey works in the Aboriginal Engagement team at Roads and Maritime. She’s a proud Wiradjuri Aboriginal woman and is passionate about her role in helping Aboriginal employees find career development opportunities.
One of Sherry-Ann’s recent accomplishments is her introduction of the Aboriginal Employee Network Forums across the state. These events provide Aboriginal staff with the opportunity to connect with colleagues, get some practical tips to assist with career development and be inspired by guest speakers.
“Aboriginal employment and career progression is so important to me. I know first hand how meaningful employment and career opportunities can change the lives of Aboriginal people, families, communities and generations to come,” said Sherry-Ann.
Flexing for family
When preparing for the arrival of his first child, a discussion with his colleagues led David Coker, Delivery Team Leader at Sydney Metro, to think about how flexible working might help him balance work and home life.
“A couple of guys at work mentioned to me they had regrets about working too hard when their kids were young, and they didn’t get to see them until the weekend.
I thought, in 20 years, I don’t think I’ll regret not working harder, but I may regret not spending more time with my family,” he said.
With his manager’s support, David reduced his hours to four days per week when his daughter Adelaide was born. He then worked a nine-day fortnight for nine months before returning to his usual full-time work schedule.
When his son Owen was born a few years later, he went back to the same flexible arrangement.
David is living proof that flexible working is just as important to men as it is to women.
“Taking advantage of flexible work arrangements is one of the best things I’ve ever done.
“It’s been stressful at times to keep up with the workload, but it’s given me the tremendously positive experience of time with my two young children. I look at the fun stuff I’ve done with them and I have no regrets.
“I wholeheartedly recommend flexible working, whatever your reason for doing it. I’d particularly recommend it to anyone with young kids,” he said.
Want to work more flexibly?
Visit your intranet for more information and have a chat to your manager to find out what flexible working arrangements are available to you.