Let’s walk the talk in diversity

“Kindness wins every time.” This was the reflection of Stephen Clarke from Private Forests Tasmania on the recent presentation from Dr Tanya Paterson at this month’s NW and Northern Network Breakfasts.

Tanya has worked in gender equity for many years and is passionate about increasing the participation of women in traditional, male dominated trades. Tanya has a doctorate in organisational behaviour focusing on organisational change with an emphasis on mental health, and believes that “together, we have the opportunity to increase the participation of women in trades in workplaces that value diversity and enable everyone to thrive.”

In summarising these events, Stephen noted, “It was a real pleasure to listen to Tanya as our NW Soapbox speaker. In a very engaging and open conversation, our diverse group was challenged by some confronting statistics and the obstacles to increasing participation levels for skilled women in trades.”

Dr Tanya Paterson speaking at the Network’s NW Breakfast

Many breakfast participants agreed, noting that the forest industry touches the lives of most people on the NW coast and that the industry is committed to diversity and inclusion for everyone.

Tanya shared some resources produced by TradesWomen Australia for organisations that are focused on attracting, recruiting and supporting women. These resources include a free online training program for forest industry organisations providing education in diversity, inclusion, mental health and wellbeing, bias and bystander action.

“This program supports participants to become champions of diversity and inclusion in their workplace,” explained Tanya.

The Tasmanian forest industry has been fortunate to partner with Tanya, who believes that the sector is leading in its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplaces.

“Having women on site makes the workplace better. In this time of full employment, we need to diversify traditional recruitment pipelines to meet our skill shortages” said Tanya.

“The take home message was that we each have a responsibility to walk the talk of our diversity and inclusion action plan and make our industry a great place to work… for everyone,” concluded Stephen.

Handy resources for employees and businesses:

Diversity in Recruitment Guide

Inclusive Networking Strategies

Workforce Diversity Project

The Network encourages you to sign up for the TWA Training program or find out more about the project by contacting Tracey Taylor from the TFFPN (details below).

Connecting + Belonging: Tasmanian Forest Industry Diversity Action Plan, along with some resources, can be found on the TFFPN Website at Diversity Action Plan – Tasmanian Forest and Forest Products Network (tffpn.com.au).

You can contact Tracey by email Tracey.Taylor@tffpn.com.au or 0499 623 791 and Tanya can be contacted on tanyap@twaus.com.au or 0419 294 932.