Australian Workplaces Commit to Inclusivity and Gender Balance

Blackmores Group, CEVA Logistics, Fenner Conveyors, Fonterra and TasWater join 85 other leading Australian organisations as members of NAWO and commit to inclusive and diverse workplaces.

In a powerful testament to the growing recognition of the value of and need for inclusivity and gender balance in Australia’s businesses, Blackmores Group, CEVA Logistics, Fenner Conveyors, Fonterra and TasWater have joined the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) as they look to champion a more inclusive future. These prominent organisations are part of a wave of industry leaders recognising the support NAWO brings, and the transformative impact of diversity and inclusivity, within historically male-oriented sectors.

“We are thrilled to welcome these forward-thinking companies to NAWO,” said Louise Weine, CEO of NAWO. “Their commitment underscores a critical moment for action, where inclusivity is not just desirable but essential. The business case for inclusivity is compelling. We see time and again that truly inclusive companies are significantly more likely to deliver superior business outcomes, such as increased innovative capabilities.”

These businesses are in great company, joining other household names and notable members such as The Arnott’s Group, Bunnings and Viva Energy. Additionally, as a further demonstration of the value NAWO provides, Amazon, BlueScope and CHEP (A Brambles Company) recently publicly shared the benefits they are obtaining from their NAWO membership in a short film.

Amid pressing societal challenges, including a national crisis of gender-based violence and workforce shortages across multiple male oriented industries as identified in the government’s ‘Future Made in Australia’ plan, many organisations recognise the urgent need for change, but, as NAWO knows, many find it hard to know where to start.

Driving change through action

Given this, NAWO’s commitment is to deliver action-oriented programs that empower organisations, leaders, allies and all employees to drive change through every day inclusive and respectful action and include:

1. Inclusion Habits for Operations Leaders Program – With its latest cohort commencing in July 2024, this pioneering 14-week program leverages neuroscience and technology to cultivate daily inclusion habits among operations leaders. Participants engage in micro learning sessions, apply newfound insights to real-world workplace scenarios, and benefit from expert coaching, empowering them to spearhead change within their organisations.

Developed in collaboration with Emberin and a pilot study supported by GWF, Linfox, Opal, Programmed, Orora, Sydney Water and dss+ the feedback to date has been highly positive. All respondents in the post-program survey agreed or strongly agreed that the program increased their confidence in fostering an inclusive, safe and respectful workplace, with participants providing feedback such as: “Your program should be mandatory for all leaders in Australia so that we get a broader base in understanding and learning together about the value add of inclusion.”

Aligned with Inclusion Habits, this year NAWO is also part of the Victorian-funded WorkWell Respect Network Program initiative, to deliver impactful learning forums and resources designed to prevent and respond to workplace gendered violence.

2. Mentoring – With an alumni of over 1,000 individuals from its 12 years of being run, this long standing and highly regarded Mentoring Program delivers mentoring to women in operations and ally support to male leaders driving change. Designed specifically for those working in operations, in this bespoke program, mentors and mentees are professionally matched to ensure a best fit, meet the objectives of each mentee and the skills and experience of our volunteer mentors. The value of this approach speaks loud and clear, with record numbers signing up for each cohort.

3. Gender Equality Men (GEM) Program – complementing NAWO’s mentoring program is its newest initiative, GEM. This supports men across operations with tools and resources to enhance their inclusive leadership capability and step up as gender equality advocates in their workplaces.

Already proving a solid success, its latest cohort, has 20 male leaders from across eight different companies in the retail, manufacturing and agriculture industries recently. Feedback from its halfway point check in has included: “The information, resources and mentor provided are excellent.”

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Connecting members from different businesses and industries, NAWO facilitates the sharing of knowledge and solutions for systemic change. With over 90 corporate members, NAWO’s network is over 20,000 nationally.