Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now?
I manage the commercial arrangements for a large portfolio of gas-fired and renewable power assets across Australia, with the aim of strengthening communities through responsible energy. My work in the renewable power space is particularly exciting. I am also a member of a Board that is dedicated to partnering with community groups to provide hope and home to those that are at risk of, or are experiencing, homelessness in Queensland.
What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?
I wanted to make a positive contribution to my community at all levels – local, national and international. There are so many ways that an individual can have a positive impact, and leveraging the systems of governance, influencing the legislative agenda and working within the legal system was where I saw my best opportunity.
What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?
Innovation, inclusiveness, opportunity.
What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?
A serious rethink of the structures we have in the workplace to support people of all backgrounds at whatever stage of life they are at. We need to reconsider our expectations of employees, and acknowledge that people have lives outside of the workplace and think about how we can accommodate and trust our colleagues to complete their work in a way that may challenge our own method of working. More generally, the legal industry can benefit from very visibly having more women and people from diverse ethnic backgrounds at very senior levels in the profession, be that the judiciary, at the bar or in law firms.
Rachel is a Senior Commercial Manager at APA Group.