Thursday, March 14, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Championing Inclusion And Empowerment Resource Industry Network's IWD Event 2024

Last week, as the world geared up to celebrate International Women's Day, the Resource Industry Network (RIN) hosted its annual business luncheon at the MECC in Mackay. With the global theme of "Inspire Inclusion," the event aimed to recognise and empower women while fostering a more inclusive workplace environment.

Dean Kirkwood, the General Manager at RIN, emphasised the importance of creating an inclusive workforce.

"We believe that creating an inclusive workforce is not only the right thing to do but is essential for driving innovation in today's business environment. It has also been proven that having women in the workplace increases safety and productivity,” he said.

The highlight of the luncheon was the keynote address by Dr. Catherine Ball, an Associate Professor renowned for her multifaceted contributions at the nexus of technology, innovation, and sustainability. Holding a BSc Honours in Environmental Protection and a PhD in Spatial Ecology, she brings a wealth of expertise to her endeavors. Dr. Ball's work extends beyond academia, as she serves as a company director on global projects that leverage emerging technologies to address humanitarian, educational, and environmental challenges. With a passion for creating businesses and championing movements, she collaborates with peers and advises game-changers across various industries. Dr. Ball's influence extends far beyond traditional boundaries, as she is a sought-after voice in the startup, futurist, and tech spheres, where she connects individuals from diverse backgrounds around common themes and shared visions for a brighter, more sustainable future.

Attendees were particularly impressed by the diverse panel discussion led by MC Kylie Porter, featuring esteemed figures like Larnie Mackay, Dr. Elissa Hatherly, Kathy Searle, and Dr. Bell. Their discussions touched upon breaking barriers for women in the workplace and the importance of fostering meaningful participation and decision-making opportunities for women.

The event also served as a platform to champion the UN Women theme of "Count Her In. Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress." It was a rallying call to empower women to have a voice and agency in driving positive change in workplaces and communities.

Reflecting on the event, participants left feeling motivated and empowered, recognising the crucial role women play in shaping the future. The vibrant atmosphere, insightful discussions, and inspiring presentations reaffirmed the commitment of the Resource Industry Network to advancing gender equality and inclusion in the region's workforce.

Photos supplied: Resource Industry Network

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