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Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council » Asciano’s uplifting approach to gender diversity


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Asciano’s uplifting approach to gender diversity

Asciano’s uplifting approach to gender diversity

Asciano’s uplifting approach to gender diversity

Asciano are throwing their weight behind a program to tackle an age old challenge in the ports sector – gender diversity.

The Women in Logistics ‘WILpower’ Management Cadetship program is an accelerated development pathway for female cadets interested in pursuing an operational management career.

Following a rigorous recruitment campaign which attracted 600 applicants, the first intake of ten female cadets commenced in February 2015 and have recently completed their first rotation through operational roles at Patrick Terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Mandy Walter, Organisational Development, Learning & HR Projects Manager at Patrick, believes the success of the program is due in part to the level of talent the company attracted through the recruitment process.

“Traditionally, we’ve recruited from the pipeline of operational roles…you might come into Patrick as a stevedore and work your way up through management ranks,” says Walter.

Bringing in, “highly trained, highly educated people with diverse backgrounds brings about a different thought process within the organisation.”

“Some of the women have come from careers in nursing, defence and mining – they bring new perspectives and are all highly practical in their approach – which is a good fit in the ports sector, where we require a practical and sensible approach to operational and people leadership.”

Cadets also undertake online, self-paced education within the two year period – most completing a mix of either Diploma in Logistics of a Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain. If a cadet brings a specialisation to the role, there is scope for them to tailor the education element to further enhance their expertise. Furthermore, cadets attend Asciano’s Frontline Leaders Program which enables networking in addition to completing a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management.

One of the key elements of the WILpower program is the mentoring component which gives the existing workforce, predominantly older males, an opportunity to pass on their wisdom and experience to the cadets.

“We’ve matched [the cadets] with mentors and that in itself has been quite a positive exercise in that we’ve also been able to upskill those mentors. We actually had a lot of ‘buy-in’ from those peers.”

Since the launch and implementation of the WILpower Cadetship Program, Asciano has seen an increase in overall external brand awareness for the Asciano group of companies resulting in a 9.7% increase in the number of women applying female applications for blue collar roles.

Key outcomes to date:

  • Increased representation of the female workforce at Asciano.
  • Asciano developed an external talent pool which can be drawn on to match against other existing jobs in the organisation and will continue to proactively run this talent pool.
  • Increased awareness internally of inclusive leadership through development and training with Asciano’s existing workforce.
  • Mentoring opportunities for its leaders to develop talent in the organisation.
  • Increased investment in the careers team allowing them to better source and support the attraction of females for existing roles.
  • Changes to the recruitment processes to increase the company’s ability to attract a diverse pool of candidates.

PUBLISHED IN Latest News ON November 23, 2015