Gender Balance is Our Responsibility as Well

A Planning and Social Performance Specialist in our Environment team, Dr Ceit Wilson is driven by her desire to ensure people always have the freedom to express their visions for their communities.

Starting with the firm as an Undergraduate Planner in 2007, Ceit’s passion for engaging with the community stemmed from her experiences early in her career.


“In the middle of the mining boom, I was asked to become part of the team completing social impact assessment studies for mine expansion projects across the Bowen Basin in rural Queensland,” says Ceit.


“Listening and engaging with the community and other stakeholders to understand their values, concerns and expectations for development was challenging but rewarding. Knowing I had a role to play in the outcome that would positively benefit communities was a career changing moment for me.”


From this early career experience, Ceit was determined to further investigate questions surrounding the role of mining companies in managing their social impacts and how they contribute to sustainable community development.


In 2013, she resigned from her role at WSP to commence an academic career at the University of Queensland where she embarked on a PhD with the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining. Focussing on the role of private companies in governance arrangements, last month, Ceit’s thesis was awarded the University of Queensland Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Excellence.


She adds, “To me, the award is both great recognition of all my hard work and a testament to the committed support I have received from my invaluable mentors at WSP.”


In 2018, Ceit re-joined the firm after her academic pursuits. “I’m very proud to work for a company that takes diversity seriously. Targets for female leadership, flexible work as standard business practice and addressing pay-parity are signs equality is valued and sought after,” she says.


Ceit believes however there is still work to be done in a number of areas. She adds, “While we recognise the need to attract more women into skilled technical based roles, we as a business also need to think about what we are doing to encourage men into traditionally female dominated disciplines within the organisation.”


“Equally, we need men to engage in flexible work arrangements and parental leave. Gender stereotypes work both ways.”


Ceit believes that everyone has a role to play in creating gender balance and inclusivity in the work place.


“For example, if you see someone being overlooked or interrupted at the table, say something. You will be surprised at how many people will thank you for standing up for what you think is right!”


WSP Diversity and Inclusion


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Dr Ceit Wilson will be speaking within the Social Licence to Operate and Sustainability session on Wednesday, 30 October at IMARC 2019 on “Humans Need Not Apply: Rethinking community-company relations in an increasingly automated mining industry.”


Click here for more information about the International Mining and Resources Conference + Expo (IMARC).