Viva Energy and Liberty Oil talk recruitment policies at TWAL Conference

In a panel session at the Transport Women Australia Limited (TWAL) Living the Dream Conference, Viva Energy Australia discussed the ways it and Liberty Oil’s wholesale division are encouraging more women to join the transport industry.

The conversation, led by Viva Energy Australia Marketing and Sales Manager – Transport, Nick Lubransky, looked at the policies which are in place at Viva Energy and Liberty Oil to support a more diverse workforce.

“It really is an exciting time for us to come along and share a little bit about the Viva Energy story and some of the things that we’re doing,” Lubransky said.

“We recognise we don’t have all the answers in our business, but we love the opportunity to come and talk with a cross section of people today to see what else we can learn and share a bit about what we’re doing.”

Viva Energy Australia People and Culture Manager, Sam Smith, detailed that the company’s evolved policies around paid parental leave has allowed both primary and secondary carers to take more time off with their children.

It was revealed that Viva Energy has also participated in several discussions on the ways it can make the whole organisation a more gender-balanced workforce.

“Our refuellers would traditionally have been mainly male applicants, and I’m really trying to introduce new ways to bring females into those roles, which hasn’t been an easy task,” Smith said.

“It has taken some actual deliberate effort to do that.”

To bring more females with different skillsets into the business, Viva Energy has introduced new training programs to ‘open up doors’ to those who haven’t already considered joining the transport industry.

Preparing the workplace for better diversity is something that Viva Energy has had to consider as well.

“We’ve set ourselves some goals and we want to try to achieve them,” Smith said.

“What we’re really looking for is 33 per cent females across the whole of the organisation, and at the moment we’re 32 per cent. So we’re doing pretty well.

“Across operational roles we’re at 20 per cent, so we’ve got a further bit of work to continue to do there but we will continue to work to improve that number.”

In terms of recruitment, Viva Energy is striving to have a 50/50 balance between males and females.

To reach that target, it has also implemented gender-based interview panels to avoid bias.

“It is a continual challenge and something that we openly acknowledge and strive to improve,” Lubransky said.

“We’re always open to ideas.”

Within Liberty Oil’s wholesale business, which Viva Energy acquired in recent years, the leadership team and levels below have adopted a collaborative effort to address the issue at hand.

When it comes to diversity, Liberty Wholesale People and Culture Manager, Melanie Taylor, said it’s about setting the foundations in the business up for success.

“That’s through training and development, and what we focus on is making sure that when we’re offering training and development, we are involving females and inviting them to participate,” she said.

“That’s a really targeted approach in conversations that we have at the leadership level – making sure that we’ve got some really strong policies so we can attract the right talent to our organisation.

“[We’re] ensuring that, through conversations around performance and talent, we talk about our females as well.”

Taylor explained that Liberty, in the past 12 months, has put a lot of attention into its recruitment process by having a dedicated talent acquisition specialist to work with the company to recruit drivers.

This has also helped it achieve a younger driver workforce into the business.

Following this, Liberty’s workforce has achieved close to a 50/50 gender split.

“Two and a half years ago, we had zero female representation in our scheduling and operations teams,” Taylor said.

“Three out of our seven schedulers are now females.

“In terms of the focused efforts on the recruitment of drivers, 18 months ago we had only 15 drivers under the age of 40 and we now have 23 drivers. So, in about 16 months, we’ve increased that by eight.

“We also had only 17 drivers between the age of 40 and 50 and now we have 21 drivers, so another increase of four. They’re small wins, but if we continue to do this we will continue to get that diverse workforce that we’re looking for.”

Going forward, Smith said Viva Energy will continue to commit to these sorts of events while learning from the industry to attract more females in operational roles.

  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend