NAWO – Championing Women in Operations

By Louise Weine

Published on 02-08-2016

Championing Women in Operations

Louise Weine, National Director of the National Association for Woman in Operations (NAWO), discusses how NAWO are promoting inclusive work environments and inspiring woman to reach their full potential.


NAWO is the peak body championing women in operations. An incorporated not-for-profit association, NAWO is led by a board of dedicated senior executives from our member network who are driven by NAWO’s vision. We are predominantly resourced by volunteers around Australia.

Our vision is a world where women and men can be equally represented and valued at every level.

Our mission is twofold. Firstly - to inspire and support women to reach their full potential and achieve their chosen career goals. Secondly to inspire and support organisations to create truly inclusive work environments and attract and retain the best talent to achieve their chosen objectives.

We have 48 member organisations – all successful operational businesses spanning the following industry sectors; agriculture, manufacturing, construction, mining, transport, postal, warehousing, scientific and technical, utilities, and wholesale/retail trade.

Our challenge is to help our member organisations grow the representation of women, particularly in key management positions. The number of women in key management positions ranges between 12% in construction to 27% in the mining and utilities sector (source: WGEA). To grow the talent pool we need support our members in the retention and development of the female talent already in the talent pipeline and help attract more women to operations management.

As a member based association, there are a few unique factors to our success;

  • Multi-industry insights and connections
  • A deep understanding of operational workplaces
  • A positive and pragmatic approach to change
  • The active involvement of men
  • The support of highly regarded volunteers

By connecting companies and individuals together through our network, and facilitating conversation and learning, we look to inspire action and bring men and women together to proactively shape the workplace of the future, to ensure the best talent can be in the right jobs at the right time.

To inspire women to stay in the game and aspire to leadership roles we run networking and professional development events in each state (NSW, QLD, VIC and WA – SA launching in August 2016!) At these events women connect with successful women and men who share their career stories, warts and all, they build networks and they gain skills related to our five key learning priorities;

  • Authentic Leadership
  • Personal Courage and Confidence
  • Career Management
  • Influence and Negotiation
  • Commercial Acumen

We reach close to 3000 women through this network. The support we provide these women through networking and professional development events is very well received. The feedback we receive from our members from our events and programs speaks for itself;

  • Over 95% of respondents thought it was well worth their time attending NAWO events
  • Over 96% would attend the next event and/or recommend attending to friends and colleagues
  • 91% were confident that they could apply what they learned at our events in their workplace.

Over 150 senior executives have participated in our Industry Solutions events, more than half of whom were men. NAWO Industry Solutions events are designed to generate high level conversations and debate, based on solid research and practical knowledge. Our aim is to have leaders walk away from these events with practical and pragmatic ideas of how to drive inclusivity in their organisations. In 2016/17 we have plans in place to focus even more effort on supporting  organisations in developing and delivering upon their gender action plans.

We are very excited and optimistic at NAWO, we have a great sense of positivity throughout our network buzzing with the exceptional efforts of individuals combining to address outdated value and  behaviours, and design better systems and processes to achieve workplace cultures that truly foster the benefits of diversity.


Louise Weine

National Director


Louise is a passionate leader keen to inspire change in Australian workplaces.

Louise dreams of a society where our challenging, innovative, inclusive and high performance work lives blend in seamlessly with our significant "other" lives - family, health, friends, community and our environment.

Through her HR consulting and her NFP work with NAWO, Louise looks to encourage business leaders to think differently about the future they are creating for generations of workers to come.

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For information on joining NAWO as a corporate member please contact Louise Weine, m: 0423 120 786,