Diversity & Inclusion

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At GrainCorp, we aim to foster a culture of inclusion and increase the diversity of our workforce because we know that this will give us the range of different thinking, perspectives and ideas we need to drive better business results

We understand that attracting and empowering people from diverse backgrounds with different skills, strengths and experiences to deliver better business outcomes means we need to foster a work environment where everyone:

  • feels they belong;
  • can realise their potential; and
  • works together to deliver the best outcomes for our customers, shareholders and the communities in which we live and work.

Our 2020 D&I strategy is focused on leveraging diversity of thought to drive collaboration, innovation and better business results. We will achieve this through:

  • Inclusive leadership;
  • Flexible work practices; and
  • Sustainability and accountability

To guide our work and drive the execution of our D&I Strategy across our international business, we have a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee.

To support our D&I Committee, and harness the power of the diverse thinking and perspectives of our people, we have also established several employee network groups. These employee-led groups identify business opportunities and ways we can better support our people and communities through their particular lens.

Our three employee network groups are:

  • i.C.A.R.E - empowerment, equality and inclusion for the Indigenous peoples of Australia, New Zealand and Canada
  • The Chickpeas – nurturing women in agribusiness
  • Unity- LGBTI+ equality and inclusion

Global Committee

GrainCorp’s D&I Committee is chaired by our MD & CEO, Mark Palmquist, and is comprised of 13 employees who represent a broad range of diversity across a variety of dimensions including business units, roles, work experiences and personal characteristics. The role of the D&I Committee is to:

  • Listen & Learn – Consult with employees and leaders across business units and functions and provide input into the development and implementation of our D&I strategy and annual plans
  • Lead – Actively promote and champion D&I in our business; deliver initiatives to support our D&I strategy; role model actions of an inclusive leader/employee; recognise inclusive behaviours and address exclusionary behaviours to help build our colleagues’ awareness and drive change
  • Govern – Drive the execution of our D&I strategy and monitor outcomes and the metrics we put in place.


As a company and as individuals, we believe that, through collaboration, we can make a practical contribution towards closing the gap in employment outcomes between the Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous peoples of Australia, Canada and New Zealand over the next 10 years. We will do this by:

  • Continuing to support the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Maori and Pacific Islander peoples and providing ongoing career development;
  • Building relationships in the communities in which we operate, demonstrating and promoting mutual respect and expanding employment opportunities; and
  • Supporting our employees’ journey of empowerment and strengthening the relationships between all employees to create a fully inclusive culture.

Our aspiration is to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Maori and Pacific Islander communities and employees to create real and practical initiatives which will make a difference. We hope that these initiatives will contribute to our joint physical, emotional, spiritual and cultural wellbeing.

i.C.A.R.E stands for I Connect, Acknowledge, Respect and Empower and is the name of GrainCorp’s Indigenous inclusion working group. i.C.A.R.E acts as an advisory group to the D&I Committee on Indigenous inclusion and as a working group responsible for executing agreed annual implementation plans – including our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The i.C.A.R.E team is chaired and sponsored by Sam Tainsh, Group General Manager of our Oils business and includes:

  • Employees who represent diversity across a variety of dimensions including Indigenous status, countries of focus, business units, roles, hierarchical levels, work experiences and personal characteristics; as well as
  • External subject matter experts who act as cultural advisers.
Crystal Mackay

Crystal Mackay

Administrative Assistant

We live in a diverse world and our company is committed to reflecting and representing this. The committee have put in place a purposeful strategy to build solid partnerships with Indigenous people, businesses, and communities. We’re truly a global committee, bringing diverse knowledge and skills which contributes to idea sharing and strategy development.

I was particularly proud when we announced Canada Malting Co’s $25k CAD Indspire Indigenous Scholarship. It will make an unbelievable difference in the lives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis students' lives. Growing up in a rural Canadian town just south of an Aboriginal Reserve, I know first-hand the incredible impact the scholarship will have on Indigenous students’ lives.

The Chickpeas

Nurturing women in agribusiness

Chickpeas are one of the significant commodities handled by GrainCorp and they have lent their name to the group of women and men from across GrainCorp who are focused on identifying and delivering activities and events which support women in agribusiness. The Chickpeas are sponsored by Phil Caris, Group General Manager of HR and SHE and their objective is to support women to thrive and develop their careers, both within GrainCorp, as well as in the communities in which we operate.

This year, the Chickpeas have hosted “Bring your daughter to work day” as well as several networking and career development events which aim to highlight women in leadership roles both within GrainCorp, and in the wider community.

Holly Bartram

Holly Bartram

Moree Grain Handler

As a rural woman, I’m passionate about shifting mindsets about womens' roles in the agricultural industry. Since joining The Chickpeas, I’ve worked with inspiring women (and men) who are dedicated to achieving tangible diversity results.

Last year, we hosted GrainCorp’s Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. The kids couldn’t believe I drove a bobcat loader. Hopefully I’ve inspired them to follow their passion – and that women can do absolutely anything. In the coming months, we’re launching a Careers Day for rural secondary schools across NNSW. I can’t wait to get out there and encourage young women to pursue their dreams. Being a Chickpea has been a fabulous experience so far… and it’s only the beginning!


Unity is a network of employees who identify as LGBTI+ and allies who want to show their support for and celebrate our LGBTI+ colleagues and community members. Unity helps to make GrainCorp a more inclusive place to work by:

  • promoting inclusive and respectful behaviours
  • delivering a range of initiatives to better support our LGBTI+ employees, especially people who may be in isolated areas; and
  • organising social events and activities aimed at promoting the contribution of LGBTI+ to our communities.

Marcus Kennedy, our Chief Development Officer, is the Executive Sponsor of Unity.