As the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Information Services Division at DELWP, Claire Foo actively encourages women to apply for promotions and look for opportunities among the many services the Division delivers.
“I am a strong believer that my actions speak louder than my words…I take time off work to attend school assemblies and to support my children or look after them when they are unwell. I am open about this and believe it is important that this is seen and heard - there is nothing shameful in having obligations outside of work.”
As a female Executive, how do you see your role in helping to address imbalances that still exist today?
I believe I play an important role in encouraging both men and women in the workforce to embrace diversity and flexibility. I am a strong believer that my actions speak louder than my words…I take time off work to attend school assemblies and to support my children or look after them when they are unwell. I am open about this and believe it is important that this is seen and heard - there is nothing shameful in having obligations outside of work. I try to actively encourage females in the workplace to apply for promotions and look for opportunities. Studies show that females often require more encouragement than males to feel confident in applying for promotions or new roles. And finally, I am very open to flexible work arrangements for all my direct reports and try to arrange meetings etc., to fit in with these arrangements.
What does International Women's Day mean to you?
It is an opportunity to stop and reflect on gender equality. We often hear stories of both success and hardship as well as more philosophical discussions. I find all these discussions valuable and help to remind all of us of our obligations regarding diversity.
Have you experienced any roadblocks in your career path due to your gender?
I took time off when my children were young and I also worked part-time for a number of years. While this time cannot be labelled as a ‘roadblock’, it has had an impact on my career. The social expectation in Australia that women (not men) take time off work for child rearing impacts many of us, both men and women. In many circumstances, this time out of the workforce comes at a time of our careers when many are moving “up the ladder”.
Additionally, I feel there are many unwritten rules regarding how women should and shouldn’t behave in the workplace. These rules are different for men.
How important is being able to work flexibly at DELWP in advancing the gender balance?
It is extremely important. Flexible work arrangements are available for all staff and assist all of us in juggling our obligations and lives outside work.
Page last updated: 27/07/20