This month saw the inaugural Society Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Conference take place in Dubai from 19-23 March. Tyco’s diversity programme, the Women’s Growth Network, which will celebrate its ten-year anniversary in 2017 was highlighted at the conference, themed Getting-It-Right: Tools and Strategies to Improve Fire Protection Engineering on Projects.
Christine Cotton, Asia Pacific and Middle East Sales Director at Tyco Fire Protection Products, presented alongside Amanda Kimball of the NFPA and hosted a Women in Fire Safety – Meet and Greet. As a senior leader at Tyco, Christine has championed the career development of female employees at Tyco and has been instrumental in advocating and promoting the Women’s Growth Network. As a consequence of her commitment, Christine has been awarded many accolades for her advocacy, including Australia Women in Industry Mentor of the Year by Australian Mining in 2015.
At the SFPE Conference in Dubai, Christine led a discussion on how access to mentoring and leadership programs can help women in the workforce recognise their full potential. It was also to gauge interest in building a network in the Middle East to support women in the fire safety industry there and facilitate best practice sharing. Christine provided examples of the work Tyco’s Women’s Growth Network does, including its Women in Technology Programme, now in its 14th year and which connects with individuals looking at a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) career and works with schools to engage them in projects of this nature.
Christine says, “As more women enter the fire protection industry, they become role models for other women considering entering this field, therefore, paying it forward is a great way to support. Speaking on Tyco’s commitment, Christine said, “Our organisation is committed to providing diverse and dynamic career opportunities regardless of gender and we believe that embracing a culture that encourages collaboration between men and women, results in greater business innovation.”
After personally celebrating 27 years as an employee of Tyco, part of Johnson Controls, Christine spoke to her own journey and outlined the challenges for organisations looking to encourage and celebrate diversity in the workplace: “Our objective is to drive cultural change and to encourage the recognition of the need for diverse and innovative management at all levels”, said Christine. “Identifying role models, highlighting and promoting women’s success stories and sharing best practices across the globe will help us all learn from our shared challenges and support one another to succeed.”
Tyco’s Women’s Growth Network champions the value, growth and advancement of women. It has a global network of more than 30 local chapters and over 1,500 members across the globe with the opportunity to connect and learn from one another. It inspires action, professional development and exceptional business performance.
For more information, go to www.tycofsbp.com