Talent Focused: Royal Wolf's commitment to inclusivity and growth in male dominated industries

Royal Wolf Supporting Woman in the Workplace

Keith Simpson had a big decision to make. There were two final candidates for a high-profile sales role to choose from – one the obvious choice, the other a wild card who would bring a whole new set of skills to the business. 

“The first was an absolute star sales manager from the industry,” says the Perth-based District Manager at ROYAL WOLF, A UNITED RENTALS® COMPANY. “The other person had no experience in the container and hire industries and was not your typical fast-talking salesperson.”  

In the end, the wild card got the role - and, in the traditionally male-dominated hire and container industries, it just so happened the successful candidate was a woman. Yet, says Simpson, gender had nothing to do with it.

“This person got the role because they were the best fit for the role – not to fulfill a quota,” he says. “Gender is not part of the equation at all. You don't look at the person in front of you. You listen to the person in front of you. They are two very different things.  

“She brought something different to the team, she had a different background, and she had a unique skill set that was able to benefit her colleagues and the business as a whole.”

No such thing as a quota

Patricia De Gori, Royal Wolf HR Director, says the company, and business leaders such as Simpson and Perth Branch Manager Matt Harmon, are hugely supportive of women in the workplace.

Attracting more women is a priority across both the company and the hire and logistics industries because women bring different skills and perspectives that help the sector grow and evolve, says De Gori.  

However, Royal Wolf’s recruitment process is driven by who brings the right skills, experience, and perspective to a role – not a quota. At Royal Wolf, the ratio of women hovers between 30 and 35% compared to the industry average of around 10%.

“We punch well above our weight in terms of our female-to-male ratio,” she says. “As a business, we don’t hire women because we need to hit a specific quota. However, as it works out about a third of the company’s employees are made up of women.”

In 2024 Royal Wolf launched two initiatives to continue to foster an inclusive workplace and support the growth and empowerment of women in the company. Royal Wolf joined the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and launched the Women United APAC chapter which will meet quarterly as a forum for employees to network and support each other. 

Times they are a changin’ 

Simpson and Harmon believe that similar to the mining industry, which Royal Wolf is a key part of in Western Australia, there is a trend of more women joining traditionally male dominated industries.

“We have found that emotional intelligence is a strong trait among our female employees,” says Harmon. “That’s something that's really important particularly at the leadership level. Women tend to listen and will work through something, learn about it, understand it, and work towards a solution. 

“It’s a very strong quality to have when you are dealing with colleagues and customers in a solutions driven business like ours.”  

While sales roles continue to attract women, roles females are moving into are diversifying, from boilermakers and fabricators in the workshop to fleet controllers. 

Shannon Armstrong is Perth’s current fleet controller where she juggles dealing with customers and 50 trucks every day. 

“Shannon can talk the same language as the truckies, and they love dealing with her,” says Harmon. “But then in the blink of an eye she’s talking to a customer, using her expertise, to help them with a specific product or to solve a problem. But it's not about her being male or female. It’s about her fitting that role perfectly.”

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