A GEM of a makeover

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Women of Woodside (WoW) has a new name and a new brand identity. And it has a new-found resolve to increase its presence in the company and – most importantly – promote gender equity.

The identity change came at the end of January when WoW metamorphosed into Gender Equality Matters or GEM. “It was decided we needed a name and brand identity which better aligned with WoW’s stated objectives and purpose,” explains Kelsie Clarke. “We wanted to change the name so it was more in line with our current and future aspirations. “So about six months ago, WoW’s two co-chairs committed to reviewing the name and we came up with a shortlist of four alternate names.”

A vote of both WoW and non-WoW members was taken and GEM was overwhelmingly the preferred option in both groups. The new name fits in well with the group’s recent shift of focus. As GEM co-chair Fiona Chow explains, WoW started around a dozen years ago as a social networking group providing support to women. “But over that period it has transformed into a multi-faceted and action-oriented community for both men and women and has helped lift the bar on gender equality and inclusion,” she says.

Fiona and co-chair Rebecca McNicol, announced the new name at a sundowner where this year’s program was launched. It coincided with the release of a five-year strategy for GEM, and the results of a root cause analysis into what are seen as the main causes of gender inequality today.

Twelve root causes were identified and condensed into four counter-measures. These form the four pillars of GEM’s new strategy house, which drives GEM’s five-year strategic plan. GEM executive sponsor Sherry Duhe believes she can support GEM through one of those pillars – elevating role modelling and pathways. “Having excellent role models in my career has helped encourage me to stay the course and not drop out like many women have done,” she says. “I hope as the executive sponsor of GEM I can create the same sort of role modelling environment.”

Kelsie was one of two WoW members handling strategy and planning for the group; the other, Jay Wong, has a background in strategic planning. Together they helped draft a strategy house and reform the strategic plan. “The root cause analysis was a great place to start because it provided a diagnosis of our current state,” says Jay. “We looked at where we were and formed a vision of where we wanted to be in the future. This then allowed us to map out a strategic plan to achieve that vision.”

GEM’s theme for 2018 is Gender Equality Benefits Everyone. One of its focus areas for the year will be to seek an increase in GEM’s male membership at Woodside locations in Karratha, offshore and other international and remote areas. “In locations outside of Perth, women represent only 12% of our workforce and male membership of GEM is a dismal 2%,” Fiona notes.

GEM is setting out on a new path as it transitions from what started out as a social group into an action-oriented group. “GEM’s journey is an evolution and hopefully GEM continues to grow and expand,” says Jay. “It’s really exciting - I can’t wait to see how it evolves.”

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Trunkline Q1 2018​