Diversity & Inclusion
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#WeLead Story

Paul Robertson

ASPL #WeLead Campaign  |  Vol.

25
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Paul Robertson
A senior consultant with ASPL and former Senior Leader/Director at two ICT Managed Service Providers, Optus & Datacom. Prior to this, He was employed within the Australian Public Service for 17 years at the DFAT and the DoEE where as Director of ICT Operations, Client Services & Contract Management.
“Providing more opportunities to allow women to shine is essential. It is also important to share success stories of Women in Senior Leadership roles.”

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am a senior consultant with ASPL and former Senior Leader/Director at two ICT Managed Service Providers, Optus & Datacom. Prior to this, I was employed within the Australian Public Service for 17 years at the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) and the Department of Environment & Energy (DoEE) where I held the positions of Director of ICT Operations, Client Services & Contract Management

Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?

In recent years, Jacinda Ardern has been in my eyes, one of the most inspiring leaders that I have ever seen. She is not just an inspirational woman, but a great leader too. She has had to deal with some incredible issues in New Zealand ranging from Earthquakes, Terrorist Attacks & COVID and throughout all of this, she has shown empathy & leadership qualities that are the envy of the world.

Two other women that throughout my life have inspired me & shaped who I am are my mother & grandmother. Both women were raised in incredibly poor households a) through the depression (Grandmother) and post WWII (Mother). They worked tirelessly all their lives to provide myself & my brother with the best education and opportunities in life, often at a detriment to their own needs. This is a value that is embedded in me & the understanding of sacrifice for the love of family.

Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?

I have worked for over 30 Years in very much Male-Dominated Sectors (Banking/Finance & ICT) and over the years, I have witnessed what is often termed the “boys club” where exclusion & a lack of equality and diversity was clearly present. As I was essentially raised by 2 very strong and determined women, I see the incredible drive & passion woman have for life & business. The more women we have in senior leadership roles, the better it would be as  I believe they provide what I see as clearer thinking, better strategic focus, enhanced culture building and in all honesty, authenticity and better outcomes.

What more can be done to support women in male-dominated industries?

Providing more opportunities to allow women to shine is essential. It is also important to share success stories of Women in Senior Leadership roles. The more we as society is made aware of the actual difference that women make when they are provided with equal opportunities, the easier it will be for women to be accepted, encouraged and acknowledged in male-dominated industries. We need to promote & celebrate the success that Women Leaders deliver.

What further steps can be implemented to encourage women supporting women?

Education, Mentoring and breaking down the barriers/stigmas associated with Women in senior leadership positions. I believe the more exposure this gets; the more opportunities will then open up. It takes strong woman & even stronger male leaders to stand up and show the business world the value that Women Leaders do actually bring to an organisation.

How would you motivate women to “lean in”?

I think it is all about Open Discussion and for women to find a supporter / mentor who can assist & guide them to lean in. The initiatives ASPL Group & CEO Kris Grant provide are perfect examples of how a Senior Leader, who is passionate about diversity & equality, takes the lead & inspires women to a) Challenge themselves, b) Build Confidence & c) Trust their skills & experiences.

How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?

I am 100% all about diversity and inclusion. I have hired and managed hundreds & hundreds of staff over my working career and I am proud to say that diversity & inclusion have always been essential & important factors in my life. I have promoted & mentored numerous women into EL1 & EL2 positions as well as provided staff development & career progression for large numbers of those I have employed. My thinking on all of this has not changed over 30 years.

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