Please indicate if your Initiative is an Established Initiative.
Team - who worked on the project/initaitve
People and Culture team
People and Culture Business Partner
Overview - Provide a summary to introduce the project or initiative
At carsales we looked at the state of enrollment in STEM education, projections into the future of technology based work and the lack of women entering technology professions. The data showed that we have opportunities to encourage the younger generation to take up a career in tech. Our goal was to design a program to engage children in technology and internally improve and promote the understanding of technology careers.
The program began with running a series of beginner level coding classes for internal non-tech staff, this was then expanded into a school holiday coding camp for staff member’s children and an education workshop at a local school. All these courses were hosted by members of our technology team from junior graduates up to more senior developers.
The main objective of the program has been to have our team members share their knowledge and skills with the wider community and engage school aged children in technology while creating an awareness around technology careers.
How would you say diversity is embraced within your organisation or sector? Are there diversity initiatives in place or are diversity approaches new to your sector?
Within carsales we are so proud of our diversity efforts. We see our people as our greatest asset and our focus is to provide an inclusive environment where our people are valued.
Diversity is encouraged at all levels in our business. We regularly communicate on our achievements and efforts to improve and support gender equality including being a Workforce Gender Equality Employer of Choice, White Ribbon and Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace accredited.
We continually promote a workforce that respects and embraces diversity.
Our key initiatives reflect our focus on diversity. Including:
Recruitment and Retention: In Technology we are always looking for talent and our strategy is to focus on attracting talent from a diverse pool. We ensure job adverts are written in a gender neutral tone, ensure at least one woman is present on all interview panels where possible and we have an internal referral scheme which incentives staff to refer great talent.
We have ongoing partnerships with Monash University through their IBL and Pathways programs which focuses on providing work opportunities for both domestic and international graduates.
Workplace flexibility is paramount to our diversity strategy and our initiatives include 16 weeks paid parental leave, 5 additional 'leave up your sleeve' days for primary care givers to use when returning to work, 2 weeks paid secondary careers leave, access to up to 10 days sick and careers leave for secondary careers, early access to long service leave entitlements, ability to purchase additional annual leave, summer hours and flexible working arrangements.
We are a proud supporter of women in the workplace and as a company, we annually celebrate International Women’s Day though inviting guest speakers, hosting lunches and having our CEO communicate to the business the importance of this day and our ongoing commitment to diversity in the workplace.
Detail the approach that was taken to implement the project or initiative, what actions were taken and why?
With the support of the CIO and the People and Culture team a dedicated group of tech team members designed the first internal coding workshop. This was advertised to our employees who did not work in the technology team. The mission was to encourage people from all backgrounds to begin to code while raising awareness about what sort of things the team does on a day to day basis.
Volunteers from the technology team were assembled to work as 'teachers' during the sessions. This was to help ensure there was enough support for the class and also provided an opportunity for them to share their skills with others, raise their profile and build their confidence.
A similar approach was taken for the 'kids coding classes'. Dedicated technology team volunteers worked to build a workshop using a simple coding program and car robots which would engage and teach kids the basics of coding on scratch.
Based on the success and feedback from these workshops we then looked for opportunities to run a similar program at a secondary school. Using internal contacts, we paired up with a local girl’s secondary school to deliver a number of workshops on Python to students years 7 -12. This provided us with an opportunity to not only share our skills and knowledge but also promote what a career in technology can look like.
At the core of the program was the involvement of our people. They used their own time to produce, rehearse and lead workshops which highlighted the understanding and skills. They were given the opportunity to present in front of other staff and external students. We saw these as a great personal development opportunity for our staff members.
Demonstrate the leadership shown in driving the initiative and fostering behavioural and organisational change.
The support of the carsales executive team including, the CIO and CPO was crucial to the success of the program and our wider diversity efforts. From early on they were involved in assisting in the development of overall mission of the projects. They were vocal in the support of the program, not just internally through encouraging staff to sign up, but through their networks in the industry.
Jo Allan, CPO, has spoken publically about the importance of engaging young females and young children in tech education and careers, promoting our internal efforts and highlighting the under representation of women in the tech industry.
carsales recognises the importance of having these conversations in the workplace and working to change unconscious bias through training, discussion and promotion of our diversity initiatives.
Through his support of the program, CIO, Jason Blackman, has encouraged staff to take time away from their day to day jobs to get involved and engaged in the workshops and making this a priority alongside business objectives.
Executive support in this program and our wider diversity efforts have been unwavering. This has included a commitment for our CEO, Cam McIntyre, on our flexible working practices, WGEA and White Ribbon accreditations and support of smaller diversity initiatives like the company celebration of International Women’s Day.
Our most recent, International Women’s Day speaker, Olympic aerialist Jacqui Cooper stated 'Cameron was so into it. Most of the time you never meet a CEO…… I guess that’s where the energy comes from. If you have an awesome guy like that leading the team; everyone else is awesome too!'
Was there organisational/industry or other resistance to the initiative? If so, detail the actions taken to overcome resistance to the project or initiative.
We have not experienced any resistance internally or externally to the program and initiatives. The response internally has been really positive, with people across the business looking for opportunities to get involved.
Externally we have had only positive feedback particularly to our work in the wider community with the kids coding camp and schools workshops.
Detail the follow up or response to the project or initiative by the organisation /industry /sector. For example has it been extended for a further year, or has the scope been expanded?
This is an ongoing program. We recognize there are long strides to be made in improving the entry rates into STEM careers and in particular the number of women entering technology professions. We also know that this doesn't just rest with carsales and we are forming industry partnerships to further our efforts. This includes partnering with other organisations to deliver a Girls Code Camp, working with schools to educate students about careers in technology, sponsoring a scholarship for a female to study tech at Swinburne Uni, working with universities to provide employment opportunities to graduates, sponsoring STEM and tech student conferences like Spark Edu and Levels, and arranging speaking opportunities such as the Go Girl conference to promote STEM careers.
We are committed to continuing on with our efforts and building on these. Our internal momentum and engagement from staff with these initiatives is strong and we are committed to fostering staff ideas about how we can further our efforts.
Please provide 2 references being the beneficiaries or people that experienced the change (as a result of the initiative). Details to be provided should include:
4. Phone number
6. Short description (up to 250 words) of association with the nominated diversity initiative eg as a beneficiary, experiencing the outcome, etc.
Wendy Keen, Melbourne Girls College, Wendy.Keen@mgc.vic.edu.au (03) 9428 8955 Head of STEAM at Melbourne Girls College, a public girls school in Richmond, Melbourne. carsales have worked with Wendy to host the lunch time coding courses for interested students at her school. We have seen almost 40 students come to our Python sessions. She can comment on the success of these workshops and the increased interest in the coding and Tech as a result of these sessions.
Deb Heaphy, carsales.com ltd, firstname.lastname@example.org (03) 9093 4591 Customer Experience Manager. Deb's daughter attended our internal school holiday coding camp and can speak to how this worked and the success.
What outcomes have been achieved against overall program or organisational performance? Using metrics specify these outcomes, for example financial, growth, policy achievement, performance or capabciltiy uplift?
The focus on this program has been to share our knowledge and understanding of technology with the wider community. So far we have been able to reach over 80 children through our workshops. Through this process we have been successful in teaching them new skills from scratch coding to basic python coding but have also raised awareness about what a career in technology can look like.
What do you consider your significant achievement with this Initiative and why?
In Australia, we employ more than 600 people across a broad range of skills, creating opportunities that encourage participation from all sectors of the business can be a challenge. With our roots firmly planted in the technology sector, it has also been a challenge to break down common perceptions of technology in our workplace and identifying opportunities to enable this group to excel. Through creating learning opportunities both internally and externally and unifying our people with a common goal, we have boosted the sentiment towards a career in technology in both an internal and external capacity.
It has been an incredible journey for carsales to empower people and highlight their unique skillset to not only their peers but also in the wider community. To date, we have reached a number of students to encourage them to see what a career in technology can be like and the opportunities that can come from pursuing a passion. Through each and every interaction with the community, we are able to show how carsales is empowering the next generation of women in technology and our longstanding commitment to diversity.
Who inspires you from a diversity perspective? Who provides leadership in diversity and why?
We are inspired by the passionate women in our workforce who are striving to create new opportunities for young women looking to pursue a career in STEM. Without the enthusiasm and contribution of all our team members we couldn’t have delivered any of our workshops or education touch points.
We have many leaders and role models through the business who reflect our commitment to diversity. We are constantly trying to lead by example as a business taking a leadership position on gender diversity. Cam, our CEO is often quoted as saying that the way everyone in the company has taken up the diversity challenge has demonstrated that the carsales culture is robust and that our people are determined the company lead by example.