Leading the way on HSSEQ

Katrina Mycock, General Manager - HSSEQ, Australia Asia Pacific

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As the head of Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Quality (HSSEQ) for RPS in the Australia and Asia Pacific region, Katrina is all about keeping our people healthy and happy, and ensuring RPS is delivering the best possible outcomes for clients and communities. Here, Katrina shares the story of a career where she's taken every opportunity, backed herself when it counted, and been at the forefront of important growth, evolution, and change.  

QTell us about your role at RPS

I’m the General Manager for Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Quality. It’s quite the mouthful even abbreviated to HSSEQ!

The HSSEQ team is responsible for maintaining our certified integrated management system, developing policies, procedures, systems and tools, and providing support to the business when it comes to projects, proposals/tenders, fieldwork, risk management, compliance, legal obligations, and client requirements. 

And how could I forget COVID-19 – this has been a big focus for me for the last two years. I can’t tell you how happy I am that we are starting to return to some sort of normal!

Who is a woman who inspires you?

There are too many. At work, it’s the amazing women in my team - Farrah, Sara and Willow, and all of my female colleagues. Personally, it’s always going to be my Mum who is also my best friend.

Who is a woman leader that people should know about?

Turia Pitt. She is the epitome of overcoming adversity and emerging with powerful ideas around leadership, resilience, and happiness.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a kid I really wanted to be a journalist. I don’t really consider myself to be a “grown up”, so now I’d like to be an artist!

What are you doing when you're not working?

I love spending time with my family, coincidentally four males, including the dog. The gender equality in my house is majorly off balance but they all know I’m the boss. I also love being with friends, shopping, or working on my artistic aspirations.

QWhat inspired you to get into the HSSEQ industry?

I had been working in the quality space for around 10 years, with health, safety and environment on the periphery during that time. When I commenced at RPS five years ago my role was to develop and implement an Australia Asia Pacific integrated management system, combining all aspects of HSSEQ. I really enjoy the mix of HSSEQ - I can work on compliance, legislation, policy/process, continual improvement, system changes, learning and development, and go to site all in one week. 

QTell us about some of your career highlights

I’ve travelled to some awesome places for work including Singapore, New Zealand, China, and all around Australia.

In another working life I was the project coordinator on an AusAid procurement project for Tuvalu. It was extremely rewarding to be involved in a project that benefited a developing country, as well as fun spending lots of money on things I wouldn’t normally buy, like trucks!  

I’ve been very fortunate to work for companies, including RPS, where I’ve been part of growth, evolution, and significant change. The learning and reward that comes with that is not something I think about every day, but on reflection is definitely a career highlight. My time with RPS to date has also been a career highlight – my team has achieved a lot and we’re not done yet!

QWhat are the best things you've done in terms of furthering your career?

I’ve taken every opportunity that has come my way, and a couple of times I’ve backed myself and asked for an opportunity when there wasn’t one available. At the company where I got my first full-time job at 17, I worked in many roles, including IT for a period, which I’m sure some of our IT team at RPS would find amusing. I also love learning through research, listening, and observation. Personally, this is my preferred way of learning.

QWhat do you think that the consulting industry is getting right in terms of addressing gender bias? What do we still need to look at?

I’m not sure the consulting industry is there yet in terms of “getting it right”. But collectively, we know we need to be better and we’re seeking to listen, learn, understand, and initiate change. I’m incredibly proud to work for a company where four out of the seven members of the AAP Senior Leadership Team are women, and we have a working group of volunteers who are enthusiastic and dedicated to shaping RPS’ commitment to creating a diverse, equal, and inclusive workplace.

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