2022 was marked by the launch of the IQA’s Diversity and Inclusion Development Day to raise awareness around diversity and inclusion within the industry.
The Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA) held its Inaugural IQA Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Development Day on 1 September in Chermside, Qld.
The IQA Board launched the initiative to increase understanding and commitment to diversity and inclusion by all parts of the industry and build on the momentum of the Women in Quarrying and Young Member Network programs.
The launch event was hosted by the Queensland Branch in Brisbane.
Chaired by Queensland WIQ coordinator Jenny Krasny, the IQA Diversity and Inclusion Development Day built on the previous WIQ conferences.
The event brought together a range of people from the industry such as quarry site personnel, contractors, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, consultants, students and academics, as well as associated roles such as human resources, finance, administration, safety environment, planning, logistics and sales.
It seeks to promote the valuable contribution of people from all walks of life within the extractives industry and externally.
In particular, the IQA is focusing on improving the gender balance within the industry and increasing the number of younger people joining the industry.
The D&I Development Day is also dedicated to coordinating planning that can support engagement in branch and local activity, regardless of geographic location.
Over the coming years the IQA Board hopes the day will grow to include local activities right across Australia, and even internationally.
A fuller program of activities will be planned for 2023 as the IQA looks to continue the work of Women in Quarrying and broaden its focus on D&I.
See us, be us
This theme will be presented in conjunction with the IQA’s ongoing campaign See Us, Be Us #seeusbeus.
The campaign is focused on promoting diversity in the extractive and associated industries with the aim of encouraging more people to consider the industry as a career path.
Likewise, See Us, Be Us aims to change the perceptions around the extractive industry and showcase the talented women, young people, and people from all walks of life working in the industry.
By doing so, the IQA hopes to promote the opportunities on offer to segments of the community who may never have thought of working in the industry.
Benefits of D&I
D&I helps a business stand out as a prospective employer as well as having a positive impact on its bottom line.
When people feel valued and seen in a workplace, they feel more connected to the company.
This not only has a positive impact the individual but also for the company.
Primarily this improves employee engagement but also helps address talent retention – when people feel valued, they are less likely to look for other opportunities.
Likewise, D&I can also help drive creativity, innovation and faster problem solving.
When a company employs people diverse backgrounds, it opens the door to a broad range of experiences, skills, and perspectives.
Likewise, drawing on a broader range of voices helps businesses make more informed decisions. In the long run, this also helps increase profits.
“Diversity improves all parts of a business,” IQA chief executive Kylie Fahey said.
“By ensuring there is diversity of thought and input businesses have greater success, innovation, productivity, and profitability. But the rubber hits the road when we genuinely include all staff.
“This is where we will see improvement happiness, wellbeing and importantly psychological safety that is so vital to creating a safe workplace,” she said.
On the day
The D&I Development Day started with a welcome from Texcel marketing manager Nick Lahman and Caterpillar operational risk consultant and Qld WIQ coordinator Jenny Krasny.
Following this, a number of sessions dedicated to D&I were presented by industry experts.
IQA chief executive Kylie Fahey spoke about the See Us, Be Us initiative and professional development.
“See Us, Be Us has multiple layers. Firstly, to see our industry and the positive role the extractive industry plays in our society,” Fahey said.
“Secondly, to see the numerous careers and opportunities that the industry has to offer.
“Thirdly, to see and profile the wonderful people working in our industry.
“By profiling women, younger people, technicians, operators and more, we can demonstrate that there is a role for everyone and encourage people to be involved,” Fahey explained.
“This visibility of the industry and the people may encourage greater depth in our talent pool.”
Next, head of discipline, school of engineering and built environment – Aviation at Griffith University Dr Christine Boag-Hodgson gave a presentation on diversity and inclusion: safety and human factors.
“Boag-Hodgson’s presentation was an insightful analysis on the role human factors play when it comes to diversity and inclusion, especially relating to safety. It was fantastic to see such an accomplished leader in the aviation industry share insights and experiences applicable to our industry.,” Fahey said.
The day also included an interactive workshop led by executive coach Peter Ambrose.
Peter has over 30 years of experience of working in senior management roles in the global resources and construction materials sector.
Ambrose has found that businesses with higher workforce engagement are safer, more customer focused and profitable.
When people feel valued and connected to the organisation’s performance their engagement with their roles rises, leading to more discretionary effort.
Therefore, according to Ambrose, a successful organisation is one that creates a culture that clearly reflects its beliefs, behaviours, goals and how people engage both internally and externally.
After the networking lunch, the D&I Development Day continued with another interactive workshop session on ‘Achieving Focus in a Highly Distractive World’.
The workshop was led by Hanson Australia talent development specialist Katie Roberts.
Roberts is a registered psychologist with a background in organisational psychology. She is passionate to creating amazing places to work.
Roberts uses evidenced-based practical solutions to address complex and large-scale organisational issues.
To finish off the day, Caterpillar operational risk consultant and Queensland WIQ Chair Jenny Krasny did a conference wrap up and invited everyone to join the networking drinks sponsored by Texcel.