Until Huia Raniera joined GrainCorp as a harvest casual in 2011, she had never considered a career in agriculture.
But it marked the start of a fulfilling career and a passion for supporting young women in the industry.
Huia Raniera is now a Terminal Operator at GrainCorp’s Carrington port facilities at Newcastle, NSW, and an ambassador for the company’s Inclusion and Diversity Action Plan (iDAP).
This is a business-wide, action-oriented initiative that determines GrainCorp’s inclusion and diversity activities and goals, including Gender, LGBTIQ+, Disability Empowerment, Stage of Working Life, Cultural and Language Diversity (CALD) and Indigenous.
“I love the variety of my role, the teamwork that goes with it and shifting the mentality around what’s often dubbed ‘a man’s job’,” Huia said.
“As a young woman of colour who is also part of the LGBTIQ+ community, I have a vision for the industry that’s more balanced across the board.”
“I love our team and we have a lot of fun, but the most important thing is making sure everyone feels welcome and accepted at the end of the day.”
GrainCorp is joining forces with the NAWO – the National Association of Women in Operations – to foster an environment of greater inclusion and diversity in operations.
As the leading national network for women in operations, NAWO works with businesses in traditionally male-dominated sectors to ensure gender equality is valued and balanced at every level in operations.
GrainCorp’s General Manager of Operations Nigel Lotz said joining NAWO represents GrainCorp’s commitment to growing a diverse and inclusive workplace, where both women and men are empowered to grow their careers.
“We’re committed to providing opportunities that attract, develop and retain women across all roles and levels – which ultimately helps us achieve more together,” said Nigel.
“Each year, we’re seeing more women elevated to leadership roles across our network – and we want to see this trend continue.Nigel Lotz
“We’re also seeing more women apply for harvest casual roles that include driving heavy machinery and working on the hoppers and bunkers rather than sticking to the sample stands.
In fact, half of the harvest casual workforce with GrainCorp for the current 2020/2021 harvest season are female – a testament to the growing pipeline of women in these roles.
Nigel continues: “Through our membership with NAWO, we can provide greater support to women moving into these roles.
“I want to encourage more young women to break down assumptions in the industry and help them to feel accepted for who they are.”
Equally excited about GrainCorp’s NAWO membership is Erica Hunter, Warehouse Operations Manager at the GrainCorp Foods plant in Melbourne.
“In my role, I lead an entire team of men, and I’m extremely proud of the fact I’ve brought a different way of thinking into the team,” Erica said.
“I love my role and the comradery that goes with it, but I don’t believe I’d be in the position that I am without a great female mentor, who has really helped me succeed in this role.
“She’s inspired me to build a stronger network of women and, through increasing our focus on diversity and inclusion, I think the NAWO membership will help us get there.”
The NAWO membership provides GrainCorp employees with access to in-person and virtual workshops, mentoring programs, webinars and events.
To find out more about GrainCorp’s commitment to inclusion and diversity in the workplace, including opportunities to support gender equality, visit: https://www.graincorp.com.au/our-culture/.