Firstly, can you please tell us something about your background, such as study or previous jobs, which led you to Crown?
I’ve been in the property industry for over 20 years, starting as a plumber and gas-fitter and eventually putting down the tools to enter management.
I’ve held roles in facility management, building management and engineering/maintenance services both here in Australia and in the UK. For the 5 years prior to joining Crown I was leading teams to deliver major development projects on premium commercial assets in Melbourne.
When did you commence at Crown and how have you been progressing since then?
I have been with Crown for just over two years and I am thoroughly enjoying it. The opportunity to work across a mixed-use facility encompassing retail, hotels, commercial, food and beverage is not an opportunity that comes along often. While there are also many challenges, I enjoy being solution focused and having a supportive and proactive team and a flexible workplace.
Why and how did you decide to work in this field?
I always wanted to complete a trade once I finished school and I decided on plumbing because it was the trade I thought would be the most challenging for me. I always pushed back against gender stereotypes when I was growing up and plumbing was the most un-feminine career path I could think of at the time.
“My path into facilities management was a little less planned and something I only considered when a strong, female mentor supported me into the field.”
Going from wearing overalls each day to suiting up for the office environment was a culture shock for me but I was also exceptionally grateful for the opportunities it presented and found that it was an environment/role I thrived in.
What do you enjoy most in this role? And what do you enjoy less?
I love the excitement of being in a 24/7 entertainment precinct. It’s a dynamic facility, operating 24/7 (in pre-pandemic times!) so there is always something happening. It’s certainly not all glamour though – there are quite a few stories I could share regarding overflowing toilets, flooded buildings, fires etc. – there isn’t much that surprises me these days!
Managing both people and facilities has presented unique challenges throughout 2020, with Crown’s business being significantly impacted first by the Victorian bushfires and now during COVID-19.
I am immensely proud of the way my team and Crown’s employees across the wider business have conducted themselves. There is no playbook for the circumstances we find ourselves facing, in so it’s important to stay connected with our team members and keep working through this together.
As a woman in a mostly men dominated profession, what barriers have you faced in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
In my two decades working in male dominated professions I have experienced prejudice from some men solely because I was female. This did not deter me as I have also worked with men that have been incredibly supportive and professional. I have had the privilege of being coached and mentored by both men and women who continue to act as a highly valued support network.
“Generally, I believe attitudes around females in male dominated fields will increasingly become less of a barrier as the years go by, as I have been witnessing the change over the past two decades, albeit very slowly.”
Do you think that Crown has made important steps to equally incorporate women? What could be done better?
Crown has made real commitments to working towards gender equity, with a dedicated Gender Equity manager appointed in 2017 and a Gender Action Plan (GAP) was published and endorsed by Crown Resorts CEO, Ken Barton in 2019. The GAP outlines Crown’s goals and targets around equity in the workplace and key strategies toward equality are already underway.
Crown also has programs in place to support high-performing, high-potential talent in the business – the Women of Crown Management Program (WOCMP) and the Next General Leader programs, for example. Having these types of programs in place to support employees to move up through management is certainly heartening as a female employee.
Why would you recommend Crown as a workplace?
Crown is a great employer offering flexibility, a diverse workforce and incredible opportunities for learning and development and career pathways through Crown College.