Industry: Stevedoring and logistics

Client name: Patrick

Project: WilPower – Women in Logistics cadetship program

Operating in the heavily male dominated industry of stevedoring and logistics Partick’s gender diversity challenge was clearly evident.  I was engaged to help them identify diversity and inclusion barriers to solving a range of critical talent shortages in particular they had only 4% of frontline roles held by women.

Their goal was to develop a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community they work in as an important component in establishing a positive and productive culture in order to achieve commercial success, better support their customers. and positively address the gender imbalance in their workplace.

Solutions and strategies

We took a whole system approach addressing the cultural, systemic and leadership barriers to ensure success and support for the program.


WilPower Program

Patrick launched a two year structured program designed as an accelerated development pathway for female cadets interested in pursuing an operational management career, key elements included:

  • Completion of relevant tertiary education
  • Certificate IV in Leadership & Management
  • Job rotations – completion of three or four job rotations, exposing the cadets to different operational roles in the business
  • Mentoring program

Develop critical skills and provide ongoing support to cadets to ensure success

To support the WilPower Program I developed a Leadership training program to support cadets throughout the 18 months which included:

  • Understanding conscious and unconscious thinking, stereotypes and systemic bias
  • How to build and foster internal networks
  • Communication and influencing skills
  • Reflective practice techniques
  • Coaching
  • Performance discussions and career development

The cadet group came together 4 times a year to participate in the program, share experiences, peer mentor and coach, build relationships and develop strategies to help them be successful in their new environments.


Educate and involved all leaders

To ensure that the cadets were sponsored and supported by their new leaders I designed and facilitated a customised Inclusive Leadership Program for all leaders in stevedoring to discuss the challenges facing cadets and how to remove barriers and support them ensuring an inclusive environment. 


Eliminate barriers to diversity in recruitment

Focusing more broadly on upskilling the recruitment team and decision makers we changed recruitment practices to eliminated systemic bias and trained the recruitment team and decision makers in how to ensure that recruitment decisions were fair, equitable and aligned to Partick’s diversity goals.  I designed and facilitated an education program and supporting tools.

Strategy outcomes

In the initial intake in 2016 eleven women were successfully appointed as WILpower Cadets from a wide variety of backgrounds.

The program was highly commended winning awards in the logistics industry

Awareness of inclusive leadership practices was increased across Patrick and decision makers were educated on how to better source and support the attraction of females for existing roles

Changes were made to recruitment practices increasing the ability to attract a diverse pool of candidates.

The success of the program sparked further investment with a second intake of WilPower Cadets in 2018 for another two-year program.


Participant comments:

“These development sessions bring so much value to the cadetship program through learning new skills and gaining tools for the workplace as well as strengthening the relationship with the other women.”

“The sessions provide us with such strength and confidence going forward and facing each new challenge.”

“Thank you for the opportunity – amazing presenter”


Wilpower client Testimonial

Wendy’s deep experience in Human Resources means she really understands the complex challenges organisations face, allowing her to work across a breadth of business issues.

Wendy has a genuinely authentic approach and her methodologies are always specifically tailored to our situations.  She has delivered fabulous results for our organisation, our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, in particular.

Lainie Tayler (former) General Manager, Learning & Development