Đăng ký bk8

Skip to main content
Đăng ký bk8Liên kết đăng nhập

Caught by surprise: How diversity can broaden our thinking and life experiences

Article by Pia Buekes Manager, Civil/Structural - Western Australia/Africa, Ausenco
08 Jan 2024 · 550 words, 3 minute read

A few things in my life have caught me by surprise. The first one, is never say never.

In grade 11, I found myself on a school outing sitting in a university outdoor auditorium, thinking how beautiful the surrounding gardens were and imagining how nice it would be to study there and see them daily. I then quickly remembered that it was an Afrikaans-speaking university at that time, and promptly swore I would never study there as I was terrible at Afrikaans.

Fast-forward a few years, and I found myself sitting in the same spot, wondering why it looked so familiar. I was now a first-year student, ready to spend the next four years of my life studying engineering. At the time, it was one of the best universities in the country for engineering. I had a quiet chuckle to myself and thought, “well at least I was English speaking and wouldn’t have to learn Afrikaans as the textbooks would all be in English”. They weren’t. A few years passed and I had completed my degree in Afrikaans, and then several years later, married my husband, an Afrikaans-speaking graduate from the same university. I have spoken Afrikaans daily ever since.

The second thing that caught me by surprise, was that people do not all think the same way. This may be obvious to some, but to me, at the time, it wasn’t. I mean, as an engineer, everything is logical, right? Even though, strangely, the male engineers seemed to have a different logic to me, at times. The more I have met people over the years, from different backgrounds, countries, cultures and language groups, the more I have come to realise there are myriad ways of thinking, and I am increasingly fascinated by this. While this can cause friction in social environments and in the workplace, it also presents an excellent opportunity to explore how other people see things and what other aspects could be important in a particular situation, aspects that one wouldn’t think of on one’s own.

Đăng ký bk8Liên kết đăng nhập

Thankfully, diversity is increasingly being recognised and continually adopted in the workplace, not only for interesting conversations and interactions, but also in order to produce more effective outcomes. Most businesses now are aware that without diversity, innovation and excellent solutions to problems are so much harder to come by. We live in complex times, when complex solutions are needed and where a one-solution-for-all approach no longer works. Each form of diversity is different in the workplace and requires its own management strategy to effectively integrate people. In my career, I have worked across the industrial, commercial, transport, nuclear and mining industries, on projects in Africa, the Middle East and Australia. In industries such as mining, where traditionally men have been involved in greater numbers, it is encouraging to see the participation of genders and cultures broaden. As one of only five women who graduated in my class in my final year at university, it is inspiring to see that collectively we are driving positive change for future generations from a diversity perspective. And so, in partnership with AusIMM, we celebrate International Women’s Day, where we are inspired to celebrate inclusion and diversity, and all the different viewpoints and great ideas this generates. May we continue to foster diversity and inclusion, to strive to understand and consider inputs from our increasingly diverse teams, and act together, knowing that this is the best path forward in solving challenges and finding a better way.

Pia Beukes

Manager, Civil/Structural - Western Australia/Africa | Ausenco
Pia has over 25 years of diverse industry experience. Her expertise spans industrial, commercial, transport, nuclear, and mining projects across Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. Pia has held roles on both the client and consultant sides, contributing to design, project management, asset management, and team leadership.
Follow along for more inspiring stories like Pia's, as we #CelebrateWomeninMining ahead of AusIMM’s International Women’s Day Event Series 2024.

Learn more

Our site uses cookies

We use these to improve your browser experience. By continuing to use the website you agree to the use of cookies.
vn 888 casino vn88 vn88linkvn88 nhà cái ee88 welcome ee88 trò chơi xổ số