Asset Scheduling and Delivery Coordination (AS&DC) as part of Sydney Trains is paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive rail industry. Asset Scheduling and Delivery Coordination manages Sydney Trains’ weekend possessions and ensures the delivery of its Annual Works Plan. It recognises the diversity shortcomings existing in the rail industry, and actively works to encourage an inclusive workplace and diverse hiring. In addition, Asset Scheduling and Delivery Coordination maintains an active community presence in its outreach activities, attracting people from every background to the rail industry.
Sydney Trains’ wider organisation overarching policies on diversity and inclusion align with the Premier’s Priorities, the NSW Public Service Commission strategies, and Transport cluster imperatives, with three priority target groups – Aboriginal employees, employees with disability, and women in leadership. In addition to company policies and initiatives, AS&DC work to further increase diversity in both its own internal demographics and the wider rail industry – in particular, possession planning.
Sydney Trains is committed to its Diversity and Inclusion Policy which includes a number of practical strategies to move beyond compliance. These include involving leadership commitment, accountability, and organisational capability, integrating diversity and inclusion into mainstream business processes, metric driven business measures, internal and external communication, as well as targeted programs to facilitate employment equity for diverse groups. These policies are adopted by AS&DC wholeheartedly and is reflected in every level of the team.
In addition, Sydney Trains facilitates diversity and inclusion networks for its employees. These networks are freely available for employees to find and join and open to all employees to participate in and learn about through engagement sessions.
Some of these networks include:
- WISE Network – Female employees working in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Construction
- Aboriginal Online Community –Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander employees
- Enabled Network – Employees with a disability or a carer of someone with a disability
- Ally Network – Employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ+) or an ally of people who identify as LGBTIQ+
- Young Professionals Network –Young professionals (35yrs or younger) looking for opportunities within Transport to be proactive in their professional groups
In addition to this, Sydney Trains is committed to increasing representation within its workforce, through the following commitments:
- Reach 40% women in leadership roles by 2025. (Currently at 25.1% across Sydney Trains)
- Increase the number of Aboriginal people in senior leadership roles and represent 3% of all staff in nonexecutive salary classes by 2025. (Currently at 2.8% across Sydney Trains)
- Achieve 5.6% of roles held by people with disability by 2025. (Currently at 1.9% across Sydney Trains)
These commitments are measured, tracked and published annually. The recorded data may be skewed lower than in reality as it is collected on a self-sharing basis.
AS&DC has made a concerted effort to bring more diversity to their team, with a 50:50 gender balance in their office-based team and representation from 30 different countries, from various ethnic and religious backgrounds.
AS&DC has developed and implemented wide-reaching initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion both within the organisation and in the community. The team acts above and beyond Sydney Trains’ company policies and has included the following policies and initiatives:
- Partnership with NSW Department of Education – AS&DC have partnered with the Department of Education to help promote STEM in NSW Public schools (Year 5-9) as well as Women in Engineering. This is the start of a more extended partnership, and the team was featured in video materials, magazine publications, and as part of distributed materials across NSW school classrooms.
- Advertisements – AS&DC has included the following section for all relevant job advertisements. We will continue to do so in the future to ensure we emphasise the accessibility of each role to diverse groups, including different genders. In conjunction with recruitment, we will utilise all available media for advertising roles.
“You will be joining a work environment that’s inclusive as well as diverse. Every idea and perspective is valued so that our service reflects the community we serve. The role does not include any physical labour or on-site requirements, although the opportunity for site visits does exist.”
- Conference attendance – AS&DC employees are encouraged to attend events around diversity and inclusion, including the International Women’s Day conferences. To help drive this, KPIs have been added to team members’ yearly performance plans. AS&DC has also conducted workshops and provided recommendations to event organisers that it would encourage additional attendance if it were noted on invitations that male and other attendees were welcome to attend (who may feel uncomfortable in attending based on the event titles) to diversity and inclusion events.
- Mini Rotations – AS&DC staff have the opportunity to take on short rotations within the unit, which is supported by management as it was identified in group brainstorming sessions that this would aid in giving female team members experience in various roles in the unit, which may typically have higher male concentrations.
As Moscow Mok Associate Director Asset Scheduling and Delivery explains, diversity is key in a profession like engineering. “Having different points of view in the team, whether that’s from a professional, cultural, or gender perspective – means we can challenge each other constructively, and ultimately achieve better outcomes for our stakeholders.”
Two critical milestones in the AS&DC unit have been reached this year with the first female Possession Manager, and the first female Possession Support Officer, Cathy Fahd. As well as this, the Asset Program Scheduling team within AS&DC has attained gender parity in the past year. In addition, Aboriginal and First Nations employees represent 2.9% of AS&DC’s demographic, a rate higher than that of Sydney Trains’ overall average.
This past year, AS&DC has also held a stall representing Sydney Trains at the RTAA Field Day, a rail event open to the public, and featured and featured its staff as ambassadors to increase the visibility diverse groups in rail. The team members selected to represent the company were from different organisational levels, nationalities, and genders, to share their unique experiences at the event.
The partnership with the NSW Department of Education has allowed a higher exposure of diversity in the rail industry to school-age youth. The partnership involves encouraging the students to develop their own app and to engage them in problem soving using STEM, and thinking about the transportation they use in their daily lives. This is a powerful way to dismantle biases before they can form, paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive future for the industry as a whole.
AS&DC celebrates diversity and inclusion as part of its day-to-day practices. For example, on Harmony Day this year, the team was encouraged to share a cultural dish, and describe its history and origins with its members. A ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ agenda item is incorporated into monthly team meetings to allow the team to be exposed to one anothers’ cultural backgrounds, experiences, and learnings. This item is open for anyone to participate and often includes a recount of a recent experience where the team member was exposed to a ‘culture-shock’ or sharing of a personal cultural event or practice. Small celebratory actions such as these support inclusion within the workplace and inform and educate about the different cultures of people we work with.