Women at STIHL: Joannah Coetzer

I am privileged to work with our dedicated Australian employees every day and to be a trusted advisor to the company on all matters relating to people. My day usually starts with an impromptu chat at the coffee machine. Brief morning interactions like these help create stronger social bonds and often lead to new ideas and a better flow of information overall.

Our main focus right now is on implementing initiatives as part of our “Australian People Plan”. This includes designing training to improve skills, change management, promoting our employees’ engagement, and implementing development and succession initiatives.

I find it very rewarding to be able to collaborate with HR staff from the entire STIHL Group on a wide variety of topics. Our regular exchange of ideas and best practices enables us to forge a fantastic sense of international comradery. I think it’s exciting to see the positive changes that happen when we empower people and advance the development of managers.

Good leadership creates harmony, equality, and safety.
Joannah Coetzer
Joannah Coetzer, Head of Human Resources, Organizational Strategy and Design, STIHL Australia
Joannah Coetzer

When I consider the challenges facing women in the world of work, two things come to mind. The first one is the gender pay gap. In many companies around the world, women are still paid less than their male colleagues in comparable positions. There’s also the issue of inappropriate communication, such as remarks made to female employees which can be humiliating. I have experienced both myself and, in retrospect, am actually grateful that I have – because these experiences mean I have a completely different approach to dealing with these difficult topics in the workplace.

Joanna Coetzer

I believe that the HR department’s responsibility is to create a workplace that is safe for and inclusive of all genders. At STIHL Australia, we actively report the measures we take to promote equality between women and men to an Australian government body. This is our way of ensuring that the position of women in the world of work remains an important topic. All the strategies, procedures, and decisions that we initiate and implement are a conscious reflection of our intention to eliminate gender inequality. My hope for myself and other women going forward is that our children grow up in a world in which every company has a truly inclusive culture that supports their careers, and helps them balance their work and personal life, and promotes inclusion.

One way to achieve this integrative culture is by promoting diversity in teams, departments, and yes, the entire company. We can only gain from bringing together different genders, ethnicities, religions, abilities, and nationalities at STIHL, since this can change how we process information and make decisions. Diversity helps us eliminate prejudice and stereotyped thinking. What’s more, good leadership creates harmony and equality, as well as mental and physical safety for everyone.