November 29, 2018
How my team in Perth is creating a welcoming workplace for all
By: Stephanie Kearns

The Perth office has its own unique culture. Stephanie shares why, as well as how the resources industry is changing and her work with Pride at Accenture.

Tell us a bit about your role at Accenture?

I’ve been with Accenture 7 years and am based in Perth. I work in the Talent and Organisation part of the business. I’m a Manager with a speciality in change management for the mining companies over here. At the moment, I’m delivering a Change Management as a Service offering to one of our mining clients, where we apply change services across a variety of projects. In the last 6 months, I was lucky enough to be in an awesome role, which allowed me to travel around to many places including a regional mining town in the middle of Australia and to cities across Asia and the Americas. Reflecting on this, I often pinch myself as to the job I have as I don’t believe my high school self ever aspired to be in such a great position.

Enjoying the sunshine

Enjoying the sunshine

How has your role working with the resources industry changed over the past 7 years?

When I think back to when I started at Accenture all the mining companies were doing extremely well and the focus was on expansion and growth. It was a boom and exciting time with a lot of projects happening. About 4 or 5 years ago the iron ore price dropped, oil dropped and all of a sudden there were less projects and the focus was around being more productive while keeping costs down, navigating the changes in the wider economy and at the same time looking after their people. What we’re seeing now is resources companies focusing on employee experience. My role has been helping these companies through their HR transformation on projects, introducing new ways of doing things and rolling out new processes and systems.

"I often pinch myself as to the job I have as I don’t believe my high school self ever aspired to be in such a great position."

How does the culture in the Perth office compare to other Accenture offices?

There are 150 people in the Perth office and most people know each other. It’s smaller than other Accenture offices and we often hear leaders tell us that we have our own unique culture. There are a number of reasons for this.

A lot of expats are lured by the lifestyle Perth has to offer which helps create a diverse culture. Perth is an outdoor living, family-orientated city compared to the busier lifestyles in Melbourne and Sydney. We have a strong family focus in the Accenture office with events such as the annual family day BBQ. The work life balance in the Perth office is also good as we tend to work the earlier hours that our clients work, which allows us to maintain a great work life balance.

Another point of difference is that in the Perth office there is only one operating group which is resources. We all work for the same clients which are all within a 1.5km radius on the same main street in Perth.

Our leadership team is striving to make the Perth office a true resources innovation hub – bringing in the leading SMEs and leading technology – so it’s an exciting time. One of the things I say to grads is: “Why go and work for one mining company when you can come to Accenture and do different pieces of work across all of them?”. You can really become an expert in the resources industry.

Enjoying drinks with a friend

Enjoying drinks with a friend

Lastly, you’re the city lead for Pride at Accenture in Perth. Why are you so passionate about it?

It’s one of my passions being an ally of the LGBTI community. We see a lot of stats around when people graduate from Uni, they go back into the closet when they start their professional career and almost half of LGBTI people are not comfortable to talk about their personal lives at work. That saddens me as no one should ever hide who they are.

So I believe it’s really important to continue talking and be visible to increase awareness. Every couple of months we host drinks and encourage people to sign up to be LGBTI allies of the community and give them badges to wear on their lanyard in the office. Perth is such a small office - imagine walking in as a graduate who is gay and seeing everyone wearing LGBTI ally badges? That is hugely powerful and accepting. And that’s the type of workplace I’m passionate about creating here in Perth – a welcoming and inclusive workplace for everybody.

At an LGBTI event held in our Perth office

At an LGBTI event held in our Perth office

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