Women In Water: Disrupting The Status Quo

30 March 2017

Victoria’s water sector is embracing gender diversity with the inaugural Women in Water event in Traralgon, attended by over 150 women from across the local industry.

The initiative provides a networking and learning opportunity for women in the water industry and aims to celebrate the role women play in the sector.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville announced at the event that the Andrews Labor Government would again co-sponsor the Peter Cullen Trust leadership program targeted specifically at women.

Ms Neville used the event to outline the Labor Government’s plan to deliver a diverse and inclusive water sector.

The State’s water plan promotes greater gender diversity and is backed by the Labor Government’s achievement in appointing no less than 50 per cent women to all water corporation boards across Victoria.

Prior to board appointments made in 2015, there were only 3 female chairs and 52 female board directors.

Today, women represent 51 per cent of all water board positions. Yet in management ranks women hold 24 per cent of management roles and 21 per cent of executive roles.

In Catchment Management Authorities 52 per cent of CMA board members are women. This was 34 per cent before the last round of appointments in 2015.

Water for Victoria recognises the need for more women to be employed in the sector and includes an emphasis on investigating real and tangible ways to strengthen gender equality in the workplace:

  • ensuring there is a continued focus on maintaining gender and culturally diverse boards
  • focusing on diversity in executive leadership positions across the sector
  • establishing a Women in Water Leadership Program to train women in the sector

The Labor Government is continuing to drive an all-inclusive appointment process for the state’s water corporations with the aim of increasing the number of skilled female and indigenous members at board level.

The process is aimed at ensuring water boards better reflect the diversity of the communities in which they operate.

Women in Water is a collaboration between the five Gippsland based Water Corporations, including South Gippsland, Westernport, Gippsland, East Gippsland and Southern Rural Water.

Quote attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

“It was a real privilege to be part of the first Women in Water event. It’s inspirational to see the strength and diversity in our sector.”

“Today’s event is evidence of the industry’s work on ensuring that women are given the same opportunities as their male counterparts to be leaders in the water sector.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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