December 04, 2023 • 5 min read

Diversity and inclusion:
moving the needle

In this article

How we’re building a more diverse and inclusive workplace

“Our industry is changing,” says Vikki Pink, our Chief People Officer. “It demands new skills and greater collaboration and innovation to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

It’s our ambition to be recognized as a leader in sustainability solutions. Delivering on our diversity and inclusion targets is an important part of this.

“When we think back to how our industry was 50 years ago when Worley was founded, it was a different world with few women in engineering,” says Vikki. “Today it’s very different. Women are increasingly well represented in graduate, engineering, and site based roles, as well as in leadership. And we know our numbers still aren’t where they need to be.”

Delivering on our Women in Leadership targets remains a priority to us. However, to achieve meaningful change we need to reframe our overall approach to diversity and inclusion with a much broader lens.
Vikki Pink of Worley.

Vikki Pink

Chief People Officer

Our next steps on our D&I journey

Veréna Preston, Senior Group Director, Investor Relations agrees.

“We’re on a journey and there’s no denying we’ve made huge strides forward over the last few years in our commitments to gender and diversity. But we haven't moved the needle enough,” she says.

“We’re focused on creating an equitable and inclusive work environment where all of our people feel valued, safe, energized, recognized, understood and empowered to drive sustainable impact.”

So how can we not only create this workforce but retain it within the diversity and inclusion targets we’ve set?

Mentoring, supporting and encouraging

One of the ways we can do this is through mentoring.

“I love doing this and it's a privilege, too,” continues Veréna. “I get to see women grow in confidence, from not being sure about what they should do or where they should go to having the attributes to find their true passions, which can lead to a long and successful career.

“Also, in our industry, I believe the best thing you can do to set a solid foundation for your career is spending some time in your chosen discipline delivering projects and taking the opportunity to get on site.

“Working on site gave me a deeper understanding of how project execution works, and this will set you up for success whether you want to progress your career in engineering, sales, or a people function.

“I started as process engineer on a mine site over 25 years ago, when there weren’t many women. Often, we didn't have sufficient facilities. Thankfully, that’s pretty much unheard of, now,” says Veréna.

“Increasing opportunities through secondments to project sites is one example of strengthening career enhancement, deepening capability in critical project delivery skills and is a good way to understand our customer drivers,” adds Vikki.

“Broadening skills will open doors to new prospects, but beyond this, we know that women may be less likely speak up when the chance comes along. And that’s why as leaders, we need to empower and encourage our women.”

Being a flexible employer

Vikki believes we’re becoming more adaptable in the way that we employ and retain people.

“We’re looking more broadly at the kinds of people that we employ and what we offer them in terms of flexibility and work-life blend. There are different skills that we need for now and in the future and that requires us to think differently particularly when it comes to hiring and retaining women.

“It’s important to support women at every stage of their career, but also recognize and provide flexibility in their life. Before I started my family I was in a senior role. I took some time off but when I was ready to return to work, I was faced with a preconceived idea that I wouldn’t be coming back into the same role because I wanted to work part time for a while,” adds Veréna.

“I persevered and was eventually given the chance to show this could be done without impacting productivity. I also fought for a working schedule that would suit the stage I was at in my life better.

“This was just 20 years ago. Now, I’m passionate about offering this to women at any grade or level as the norm and supporting our people to achieve their career goals while still juggling their personal choices and commitments.”

Holding ourselves accountable

For Veréna, accountability is another critical element when it comes to making real change.

“And it starts from the ground up with every one of us,” she says.

“Our leaders need to ask, what’s the makeup of my team? And when we’re interviewing, we need to make sure we have a broad range of candidates across gender, and other forms of diversity, and refrain from any unconscious bias,” explains Vikki.

“We use data to define the problem and help us better understand root causes of bias. We’re developing new hiring standards that allow a consistent, research based approach to tackling the many subtle and nuanced biases that can impact the fairness of any hiring process.

“And our leaders will now be held accountable for their decisions when it comes to hiring and promoting women.”

Leading by example and leaving a legacy

“It’s important that we inspire others to see themselves in our footprints so the next generation of women can lead courageously in an ever-changing future for our industry. That will be our collective legacy,” says Vikki.

Veréna agrees. “A diverse leadership team is a magnet for talent. It allows others to see themselves in leadership positions. That’s why increasing and leveraging diversity is a priority to us.

I want to leave a legacy that I’ve made a difference and led by example. That I’ve been fearless in the way that I’ve approached work, that I’ve pushed every boundary and that I’ve supported others to achieve beyond what they thought was possible.
Veréna Preston of Worley.

Veréna Preston

Senior Group Director, Investor Relations

“I have two daughters and now they’re older, they often remind me of the example I’ve set for them. I’m proud that they believe there’s always a way to overcome boundaries.”

Keeping the momentum up

Vikki and Veréna recognize that we can’t achieve our diversity and inclusion targets overnight.

“We’ll see a considerable change in the representation, progression and inclusion of women in the workplace,” says Veréna. “There’s still a lot of work to do to build on the powerful work underway and make sure that our work makes a positive difference to the working lives of everyone at Worley.”

“It needs continuous effort to combat biases, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where everyone, regardless of their background, feels valued and included,” adds Vikki. “We can’t take our foot off the pedal just yet.”

Our progress in numbers

Read our full diversity and inclusion targets in our 2023 annual report.

Statistic Cards

of our entire workforce are women
of our board are women.
Our 2025 goal is 30%
of our graduates are women.
Our 2025 goal is 50%
women is our target at Group Executive level, which we are maintaining
of our senior leaders are women.
Our 2025 goal is 20%
Discover more

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