April 13, 2020

Catalysts for Change

Catalyst for ChangeIn our mines, refineries and offices throughout Australia, some 300 employee “catalysts” have pledged to promote the development of women, build networks, advocate for change and showcase the successes of women in the workplace.

Launched in 2015 by the Alcoa Women’s Network chapters in Australia, the employee-driven Catalysts for Change (C4C) program is enabling a cultural shift toward a more inclusive workplace.

Recent C4C achievements include:

  • Unconscious bias training for hiring managers;
  • Mentoring of female colleagues by experienced employees who have signed the pledge;
  • Appointment of a gender sourcing specialist to support diversity goals and ensure recruitment practices are inclusive to attract top female talent;
  • Revised job prerequisite requirements to reduce the barriers to women applying for traditionally male roles; and
  • The creation of the Women in Operations program to retain top talent to take on operational and leadership roles.

These large achievements are supplemented with the actions of individual employees. Chris Phillips, for example, established a job share arrangement for two female engineers.

“I feel empowered to take action—from ensuring that someone gets the flexibility she needs to support her family to challenging the status quo in our human resources policies,” said Chris, who is the technical manager at our Kwinana Refinery. “I have definitely seen a shift. I’m excited to see more women taking on operational roles and challenges that they would not have previously considered.?I can see a culture change, too. We have meetings that are filled with different ideas, different energy and different solutions.”