Geelong Industry joins forces to boost female participation in supply chain workforce

Media release

20 October 2023

The  Supply Chain Talent Pipeline project (SCTP) recently held an industry forum to encourage local businesses to join forces and boost female participation in the supply chain workforce, as well as discuss how to create and sustain inclusive workplaces.

SCTP is a National Priority Fund initiative which aims to break down barriers to the recruitment of women.

The Supply Chain Talent Pipeline program builds on a framework developed by Deakin University researchers. Its core purpose is to address long-standing misconceptions about supply chain careers, creating a new recruitment pipeline by focusing on women and young people, two groups currently significantly underrepresented in the industry.

Deakin University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor University Services Kerrie Parker, alongside leaders from Deakin's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division - Peter Oslewski, Laura Burge and Alisha Stewart - led the discussion at the sold-out event.

Representatives from local industries including Cotton On, Timber Truss and the Port of Geelong, were also able to explore the training potential of Virtual Reality in promoting inclusion through an immersive VR experience in Deakin's cutting-edge learning precinct, Nyaal.

"Deakin was delighted to participate in this event," said Deputy Vice-Chancellor Kerrie Parker. "Inclusion is one of the University's core values, it is central to how we operate, and we know our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is integral to Deakin’s ongoing success."

Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network CEO Wayne Elliott said that one of the issues they had identified was a difficulty attracting women into the supply chain industry, despite the number of significant employment opportunities available in the Barwon region.

"Working with local industries to foster the sort of workplaces women want to work in has been a significant aim of the Supply Chain Talent Pipeline project," said Mr Elliott.

Deakin University Senior Research Fellow of the Project, Dr Patricia McLean said:

"While increasing the understanding of what a career in Australia's modern supply chain looks like has been an important part of the work we are doing, our project also aims to address the structural barriers for women in male dominated industries, and the forum was a key part of that.

We know that diverse and inclusive workforces perform better, are more innovative, and show clear benefits to the bottom line."

The ongoing project has developed a number of resources including a diversity tool kit and videos of some of the talented women currently working in supply chain careers in Geelong.

The SCTP is supported by funding from the Australian government through the Local Jobs Program.

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