The Aurizon Male Champions of Change
to drive diversity
A group of male Aurizon employees have joined forces to drive greater gender diversity with the launch of the Aurizon ‘Male Champions of Change’.
TWENTY-THREE AURIZON employees are seeking to diversify the rail freight company’s traditionally male, blue-collar workforce by bringing men from all its layers, functions and locations to boost the employer’s female participation well above the current 14.4 per cent. One such member of Aurizon’s Male Champions of Change group is Jilalan Rail Yard maintenance manager Mark Burns. Leading a team of 120 maintenance staff who maintain, repair and overhaul wagons and locomotives that haul coal to the ports in Central Queensland, Burns sees diversity as key to organisational success. “I have seen the organisational transformation and change that can occur when we introduce different approaches and thinking. The introduction of diversity makes workplaces perform better,” Burns says. “My objective is to make practical changes now in my part of the business…
and be a part of communicating the journey and successes with the wider business and community. “The challenge is to find real ways to introduce difference, nurture an inclusive environment and then let the successes drive themselves.” Taking inspiration from Aurizon’s managing director and CEO Lance Hockridge, who is chair of the wider ASXfocused Queensland Male Champions of Change, the group’s mandate is to advocate for and take action to advance gender equality throughout Aurizon. Hockridge has set a target of 30 per cent female representation by 2019. “If we treat inequality equally, then we will get what we’ve always had,” he says. “With 86 per cent male representation in Aurizon, the majority of the decision makers are men when it comes to recruitment, promotion, development and project opportunities.
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“This is not a women’s issue, it’s a leadership issue. This is why Aurizon’s Male Champions of Change group has a vital role to play.” In March, Aurizon held its third annual Women’s Conference that brought together 350 women from across its Australian operations to hear presentations and attend workshops on topics the importance of career sponsors and emotional intelligence. RP
This is not a women’s issue, it’s a leadership issue. This is why Aurizon’s Male Champions of Change group has a vital role to play.