An equal world is an enabled world: Tracey and Saskia

11 Mar 2020

Celebrating women’s achievement across our business for International Women’s Day (8 March) we are catching up with some of our inspirational women to hear what gender equality means to them. All this week we will be sharing our interviews with them asking them about their career journey, what this year’s theme ‘an equal world is an enabled world’ means to them, and what advice they would give to their 12-year old selves.

Today, meet Tracey Gosling General Manager – Digital, Australia Asia Pacific and Saskia Gorissen, SHEQ Manager, Breda.

What was your career path? How did you get to where you are today?
I started in accounting and found a natural skill for IT (when the internet was just taking off!) so have spent my career identifying, problem solving and implementing transformations for business and government. Mostly it’s about asking ‘what’s possible’ with the combination of people, systems and processes, and today that includes business models and communities for even more innovative outcomes. Every two years I would challenge myself at a new skill and I always took on the hardest projects, the hardest client base or the hardest business portfolio to improve. Someone once told me ‘smooth seas does not a sailor make’.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is ‘an equal world is an enabled world’  – what does that mean to you?
We are diminished as a community if not everyone can contribute and when performance isn’t valued equally. An equal world is an enabled world because it gives families more options to manage life. It’s so good to see more firms with equal pay metrics, encouraging diversity into all roles and encouraging flexible work practices and parental leave for women and men. However there are some industries lagging. I’m also encouraged that more men are enjoying taking at-home parent duties for periods of time but that will only be an option if their partners are paid equally for performance.  An enabled world is a stronger reflection of what we as humans are capable of working together.

What advice would you give your 12-year old self?
All the things you feel self-conscious about or you think are ‘different’ to others as a teenager become your strengths that you are known for in the future. Embrace and nurture your strengths and your voice and always understand and value how others want to contribute theirs.

What was your career path? How did you get to where you are today?
After I finished my university degree in Occupational Hygiene I started my first job as occupational hygienist at a company called Health Services. After a couple of years I switched to a role as independent consultant: I started my own company together with my husband who was active as a safety expert. After 13 years he decided to stop his role in the company due to the fact he needed a new challenge so I then ran the company on my own. I did that for two years but noticed that I missed having a colleague, also a sparring-partner.

Funny fact is I knew and worked with RPS for the last 20 years and in a casual conversation with one of the operational directors of RPS in Holland we suddenly discussed the possibility to join RPS as a SHEQ manager. After various conversations and the fact I didn’t really enjoy working fully solo I decided to take on the challenge and joined RPS in 2019 as SHEQ Manager for the whole Dutch business.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is ‘an equal world is an enabled world’– what does that mean to you?
I strongly believe that woman can add something to an organization that is mainly male-driven. Females do have a different view on certain aspects than males have. Besides that females approach things differently both business-wise and people-wise. Most men have a straightforward approach which is a good thing but sometimes the female touch works better with a bit more finesse and grace. Especially in this male-driven company the female touch does have its benefits since in some instances you can get a little bit more done thanks to your natural approach.

What advice would you give your 12-year old self?
To make sure that you create your own plan and execute this with your own style and attitude. Don’t let others interfere or influence you too much when you are busy with your plans. And to make sure you really do the things you like…so follow your heart.

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