Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress

As part of International Women’s Day, our Harness female staff attended the incredible IWD24 event, hosted by Queensland Women of Wells (QWOW). We worked in conjunction with Ventia to sponsor this remarkable occasion, as we wanted to be fully immersed in this opportunity to inspire, educate and uplift local women within the industry. “Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress”, was this year’s theme – chosen by QWOW to serve as a reminder to all, that when women are given equal opportunities… entire communities can thrive!

The Top Take Aways

Since the event at the beginning of March, we’ve had time to reflect deeply on its importance and messaging. Here are the main takeaways we found from the IWD24 event:

1. Embrace nerves and apprehension

Trying new things or revisiting past challenges can be daunting. Remember to be kind to yourself and others, as everyone faces internal struggles. Remind yourself that facing these challenges head-on, is courageous.

2. The value of peer support.

Surrounding ourselves with inspiring individuals and supportive teams is invaluable. Witnessing colleagues and friends offering a helping hand during tough moments reinforces the true importance of teamwork.

3. Step out of your comfort zone!

True personal and professional growth happens when we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. While it’s essential to respect limits, venturing into the unknown is where we realise our potential.

These three essential insights encapsulate not only our personal learnings from the days’ event but also offer valuable organisational lessons that are applicable across our entire workforce.

The Day Itself…

These takeaways emerged prominently from the diverse range of activities conducted throughout the day, including workshops and collaborative exercises designed to inspire and foster cooperation among the attendees. As nine participants embarked on a rig visit hosted by Ventia, Harness facilitated multiple training sessions on-site, contributing to the richness of our collective experience.

The primary objective of these sessions was twofold: to provide the participants with vital safety education, as well as empower them to transcend personal limitations, broadening the scope of the belief they had in their own capabilities. The training courses we offered included:

  • CPR Training
  • Load Restraint Training
  • Fire Training First Response
  • Working At Heights



The hosts, QWOW, shared some anecdotes on their social media in the aftermath of the event, spotlighting some women who overcame personal blocks and faced real fears during these training sessions we held, and we’d like to share one in particular here:  

“To say I am scared of heights is an understatement. So, when I walked in [to the event] saw all the equipment set up for Working at Heights training – I froze, instantly sweating. I was relieved to find out my group wouldn’t be doing that activity – no heights for me. But then there was a call out after lunch, there was still time if anyone wanted to climb the wall and abseil down. So, with the encouragement of my workmates I decided to face my fears head on and give it a go. The girls soon realised my fear was real but encouraged me to do it anyway. I am so pleased I did! The most terrifying part? Trusting that I wasn’t going to fall, that everything was going to hold me – even on top of the container I was scared I would fall. The best part? Knowing that every person in that room was on my side and encouraging me and hearing my gals cheering me on. There was no judgement when I was crying with relief when I landed. Huge thank you to Marty, the most patient and supportive instructor. Until last week I didn’t really think IWD should be a thing, we should all be equal. But after this event, I totally get it – I felt empowered. QWOW, Harness, and Ventia put on the best IWD event I have ever been to – I cannot wait to go again.”  Emma Clippingdale from MPC Kinetic. (This is a summarisation – visit the LinkedIn page of QWOW for the full story).

Emma is living proof of why these events are so important and that you can have an enormous impact by lifting someone else up – literally and figuratively! In addition to these activities of the day, a panel was held where industry leaders were invited to share their perspectives on what the theme ‘Count Her In’ means to them personally, and for our industry as a collective.  Our CEO Rory Duff was generously invited to be a member of the esteemed panel, representing Harness and how our core organisational values directly correlate to this year’s theme.  “The community and energy that is behind QWOW is infectious and it was incredible to be part of this event, as we continue our journey on building a more inclusive and equitable workplace”, says Rory, upon reflection of the event. 

We’re extremely lucky at Harness to have the incredible female staffing that we do, across a plethora of departments of the organisation, all contributing to our year-on-year growing success. The event was a huge success all round and we were so delighted to be a part of this – as Rory said, the energy at QWOW is infectious and we all left feeling totally inspired, empowered and having learnt something new!  


Benefits to Women in the Community

  • A special thanks to: Peter Jones, Marty Smith, Pat Daly and Helen Horner – our skilled Harness trainers who made the trip out to Toowoomba and conducted these courses
  • The proceeds raised from ALL the ticket sales, as well as a raffle held on the day, were donated to Protea Place.  Protea Place is a Toowoomba-based women’s charity who since 2019, have been providing refuge, essential services and an environment for women to feel safe, no matter what they’re facing. In total, $2,000 was raised and donated to this important charity, aiding them in continuing their meaningful work within the community.  
A big thank you to our hosts QWOW, as well as our fellow sponsor Ventia, for making the event the success it was and ensuring everything ran smoothly – we already can’t wait for next year!