5 Mar 2020

Our Senior Advisor Environment Nicola Stokes wears many hats when it comes to her role with North Queensland Bulk Ports. Nicki, as she is known to our colleagues, has 10 years under her belt with us and is a national expert on marine pests, executing work on a global level.

Q. What is your role and what does a typical day look like?

My role includes monitoring surrounding marine environments, assessing environmental management for port developments, and working with the State and Commonwealth Departments on how NQBP ports can facilitate effective and efficient policy implementation to ensure preservation of the precious environmental values within our ports.

Nicola representing NQBP in Europe

Q. This year's theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Each for equal’ – an equal world is an enabled world. What does this mean to you?

‘Each for Equal’ to me means everyone has a part to play in working towards diversity, inclusion and equality at our workplace.

I am proud to work for an organisation that values unity and respect. ‘Each for Equal’ is not an individual’s issue, it is also a business issue.

Actively engaging in broadening the diversity and equity discussion to cross-organisational and international platforms, as well as resource succession planning offers the most valuable opportunities to achieve this equity.

Q. What is the most challenging part of your job?

I consider the workplace flexibility (work from home, part-time, flexible hours), offered by a growing number of organisations and industries, invaluable in the capacity for women in STEM to be able to maintain a good work-life balance.

Q. How do you find working in a male-dominated industry?

Having worked in a male-dominated industry for majority of my career, there have been occasions early on when it has been difficult; especially in the trade-dominated service fields. Throughout my career, I have seen such a strong increase in women working directly within these fields and I now find great opportunity exists for women working within a diversity of professionals and look forward to being part of this change.

Q. What advice do you have for other women pursuing careers in traditionally male-dominated industries?

Undertaking a Masters in Business Administration (Sustainable Business) offered me great insight into the value of having a strong understanding of disciplines outside my direct profession.

I utilise the skills learnt through this to help identify the personality drivers behind many professional relationships and the communication styles that are so important therein. This, alongside a strong drive to continue my learning and professional development, I believe were key strategies in navigating a career in STEM industry.

My next challenge is to consider how I, as an individual, can contribute to ‘Each for Equal’ within the cross-organisational and international collaboration platform.