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Putting people in the picture

Jenny Krasny has been working in quarrying for almost 20 years and is tireless in her drive towards diversity and inclusion.

Jenny Krasny has been working in quarrying for almost 20 years and is tireless in her drive towards diversity and inclusion.

She has most recently worked at Caterpillar, where is known for her drive towards attaining diversity and inclusion goals within the workplace.

Her goal is to create a workplace where everyone, regardless of their background, can thrive and be appreciated.

Krasny’s role as operational risk consultant at Caterpillar is a demanding one. It includes frequent site visits, early mornings and late nights.

Alongside this role, Krasny is a chair for two employee resource groups (ERGs) in Australia; Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) and Women in Quarrying – Queensland.

Within these ERGs, Krasny strives to reinforce the importance of having a diverse workforce, and supports the betterment of women and the LGBTIQA+ community within the company.

“Much of my work is behind the scenes, where I help leaders, teams and organisations put their best foot forward, to achieve outcomes that they thought were only reserved for a deserving few,” she wrote in a post on LinkedIn.

Krasny works with employees to generate calls for actions to create an inclusive environment. She takes an upward-management approach to hold senior staff members accountable to get involved and to be intentional about diversity and inclusion, and acceptance.

Krasny’s efforts to drive diversity and inclusion have not gone unnoticed and she has been awarded the 2022 WIN Leader of the Year Award.

The award honours a WIN member who served in a chapter leadership role for the majority of 2021 and whose leadership has greatly affected a chapter, region, or Caterpillar as a whole.

Founded in 2006, WIN is a Caterpillar ERG that focuses on providing personal and professional development opportunities to people across the company.

There are currently over 5000 members across more than 70 chapters around the world working to drive diversity deliver business impact.

Krasny thanked her team for their support and dedication, highlighting the value of teamwork when it comes to striving towards a common goal such as diversity and inclusion.

“This award would not have been possible if not for the handful of dedicated people that work behind the scenes to bring the overarching vision of WIN to life – my WIN Australia team. This award is as much mine as it is theirs,” Krasny wrote on LinkedIn.

“We started together in late 2020 with a will – to contribute to making Caterpillar a place where all walks of life can thrive and where people’s time at Caterpillar is seen as the best years of their career.

“Our will has been tested on numerous occasions but together we build each other up and bring each other along.

“But today we stand with an award that celebrates the work we have done, recognises the impact we are making and compels us to keep on going. Today, we don’t just have a will but a way … and a cheer squad in our corner.”

Q+A: 

What to you enjoy most about the role as operational risk consultant at Caterpillar?
The people I get to work with and the problem-solving nature of the work – the fact that no site or problem is ever the same. Likewise, the places the role takes me around the world, and that I can do it all in a pair of jeans!

 

What do you enjoy the most about the industry?
The “rawness” of the people – what you see is what you get. There are no airs and graces; we get real, really quickly. I also love the desire to keep moving forward in this industry.

 

Using your industry knowledge and experience, what advice would you give your younger self when first joining the industry?
I would tell myself to not sit back and get stuck in. There are so many people out there who are keen to share their knowledge and skills with you. They need you to succeed (as much as you want to succeed), so the sooner you start interacting, asking questions, learning, and getting your hands dirty, the better.

 

Can you share a challenging moment and how you worked through it?
Being from a non-traditional discipline (organisational psychologist), there are still times even today where people question what value I can add in a pit, workshop, or plant.

But once I position my value-add in the language of the person with whom I am speaking, we start making inroads.

I won’t lie, it still messes with my head trying to break psychological concepts and phenomena into clearly defined boxes. We’re a bit more complex and messier than that – and we’re certainly not linear or predictable!

 

If “you can’t be what you can’t see”, what advice would you give women who may never have thought about the extractive industry?
At some stage there had to be a first, why not make it you?

 

This feature first appeared in the June issue of Quarry.

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