RAA celebrates International Women’s Day with our new auto services’ boss

8 March, 2022

To celebrate today’s annual International Women’s Day RAA catches up with our first female General Manager of Automotive Services to find out what the annual event means to her.

RAA Managing Director Ian Stone also reveals RAA’s belief in workforce equality and how our policies us achieve that.

In January this year Dorothy Nycz was appointed to lead RAA’s Automotive Services due to her varied experience in business management. With a strong background in a range of South Australian industries and areas including State Government, Health, Transport, and Community services, Dorothy is passionate about our people, and being better for our State and members. She manages our iconic patrol network, and our varied motoring services, with a focus on future-proofing these historic offerings.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me this day is a time when I pause to think of the females who have come before me and whose struggles have allowed me to have a career. As an example, young women would once be asked at a job interview if they planned to have children and my mother-in-law had to resign from work when she fell pregnant.

What was your perception of RAA before you joined in January this year and what’s the reality?

Given our long motoring history, many people have assumed RAA has a blokey culture; however, that is certainly not the case. Although it’s almost 120 years old it strongly invests in innovation, such as the electric vehicle charging network. It is also the state’s oldest travel agency, is involved in residential solar energy, other home services and insurance. There is no doubt RAA has a strong social policy, we know our members are concerned with climate change and what impact they are having on their community and the world.

RAA is certainly an evolving organisation which engages staff based on their merits and skills. Around half of all RAA staff are women, and there are also many women, in frontline to General Management across the different services we provide. My colleague Jeanette Dhondee was also recently appointed to RAA’s executive team as the first female Chief Technology Officer Information Services

Outgoing RAA Managing Director Ian Stone, who is resigning after 15 years in the driver’s seat, explained:

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I think it’s [International Women’s Day] a day to remember we’re on a journey. We still have to recognise that women as a generalisation aren’t paid as well, don’t have as many opportunities, and there’s a huge role organisations can and should be playing to help to shift that.

Whether we call it a glass ceiling or by another name, we know there are still barriers in place for women to progress through the workforce. As a society, we’re making progress, but we have a long way to go.

What representation do women have in senior positions at RAA.

At RAA, women represent the majority on both our Board and Executive teams. These women got there because they deserved to be there—purely on merit. At RAA, we fully subscribe to the notion of the best person for the job, no matter their gender.

There’s no doubt our gender-neutral recruitment strategy and revised parental leave policy initiatives have certainly resulted in an increase in women in leadership positions. This includes gender-neutral language in adverts, parental leave that provides the same benefits for either gender, and paying superannuation during parental leave.

We’ve also introduced inclusive leadership training and Women in Leadership development programs.