As part of International Women’s Day, Corrective Services NSW has celebrated its 3500 female staff and the important contribution they make to the organisation.
While the prison system has historically been a male dominated industry, today a record 40 per cent of the CSNSW workforce is female, with women occupying roles on the frontline right through to the executive level.
Locally, at the South Coast Correctional Centre at South Nowra, 30 per cent of the staff are women.
Remarkable, when you consider the South Nowra Jail only has male inmates.
CSNSW Acting Commissioner Luke Grant said International Women’s Day was the perfect opportunity to pause and recognise the great work women do in corrections every day.
“Women bring a unique set of skills and diversity to the workforce,” he said.
“They often have different strengths to their male counterparts, which has a very positive effect, particularly in the custodial environment.
“We recognise how far women have come since first joining the department. It’s also about setting clear intentions to support and empower women to continue to grow and develop in their careers.”
CSNSW workplaces across the state held special International Women’s Day events, some inclusive of inmates and staff alike, to encourage women to take action towards this year’s theme – press forward for progress.
Among the festivities was a morning tea at Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre, which Governor Paula Quarrie said had become an annual tradition.
“I think it’s important to involve our female inmates on this meaningful day; they need to be reminded more than anyone of the achievements that women have made and hopefully it will inspire them to progress forward in their own lives,” Ms Quarrie said.
“I became a correctional officer in 1994 and over the past almost 25 years I’ve worked with many female officers and offenders. I know what it’s like to rise through the ranks in an industry that has typically been a bit of a male domain.
“We celebrate how far we’ve come while also acknowledging where we need to go.
“As women it’s important to stick together and help each other along the path, which is why we started celebrating International Women’s Day and will continue to do so.”