Why Gender Equality matters to me
By Tony Deegan, Store Leader, Victoria
I believe that gender balance is possible, and excuses for not achieving gender diversity in teams are just that - excuses.
I am fortunate enough to hold the position of ‘Store Leader’ at Telstra’s Knox Retail Store.
I’m passionate about diversity, and I’m proud to say that I’ve built a team that believes diversity works. They understand that in order to provide an inclusive workplace for a diverse workforce we must be adaptable, accommodating, and mindful of our team member’s needs, so we get the best out of our teams.
As a leader, I know that having a gender mix makes business sense. I currently have a 50/50 gender split in my management team, and 60/40 gender split in my frontline team. I’ve been in all male teams in the past and it can change the team dynamic. I’m lucky enough to be in a leadership position where I can make this a reality.
My team at Telstra’s Knox Retail Store
I am a firm believer that gender diversity leads to a more inclusive and productive workspace, avoids groupthink, encourages diversity of thought, and aids in formulating new and creative ideas.
With Telstra’s All Roles Flex approach, in retail, we have the ability to be flexible in a scheduled environment, because we operate 7 days a week, including late nights, and can therefore offer different shifts, to suit people’s needs.
When a valued member of our team, returned from parental leave, we talked openly and transparently about what would work for her and the business. I simply asked, ‘tell me what would work well for you’. We then worked together to make it happen, ensuring that continuing her career at Telstra fitted in with her new family life. We were, because we are, flexible.
If you have the mindset that anything can happen on the roster, then I believe that you can. I’m a firm believer that this attitude needs to start from the top down, to promote an empowered workforce.
I believe that there’s a common misconception around the skills required to work in a Telstra retail store. Being a technology based industry, some people think they need to be tech-savvy gurus to work here. Well I can tell you, you don’t! What you need, is to be able to connect; connect with our customers, and connect with your team.
I believe we need more people to return to work with life experience, and the ability to connect with customers.
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