Jacqui Hickey

General Manager of Applied Science, Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Jacqui Hickey, General Manager of Applied Science, Murray-Darling Basin Authority Jacqui says International Women’s Day is a time to slow down in our day-to-day business to reflect on how far we’ve come.

With a history of working in water for almost 20 years, Jacqui has a professional background in water consultation, working in the private sector on flood risks, as well as working for the Victorian Government in water during the Millennium drought.

‘I started my career when the industry was really male dominated. I worked for some amazing people, and then over the past couple of decades we’re seeing more and more women come into the water industry. I think having women around pulls everyone up a little.’

While observing the vast changes to gender representation in the water industry, across both the private and public sector, Jacqui says women ‘balance the conversation’.

‘When I was in the mining industry, it was very male dominated and masculine. But as soon as you put a couple of women in the room, it increases everyone’s level of respect and behaviour.

‘I think it improves mood and requires an increased level of professionalism in regard to respect for work colleagues. It’s also increases the chance of getting the best minds on the job.

‘I’m pleased that at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority as a professional woman I feel very supported. We have women through all levels and that’s where the support comes from.’

Jacqui believes International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the vast changes made within Australia’s workforce thanks to the contributions of women.

‘When I reflect on when I started 20 years ago, back then I used to wear a shirt and pants because I didn’t want to be seen as different. Now you can walk into a room of professionals and you can really leverage your skills as a woman in the workforce.

‘But it’s also a time for us to recognise that we’ve still got more to do. What we’ve done is great but there are still a lot of places that have issues in terms of gender balance.’