Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Why diversity, equity and inclusion are important to us

FrontierSI is dedicated to an enduring, organisation-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is underpinned by our belief that a diverse and inclusive workforce is necessary to drive innovation, foster creativity, and guide business excellence, and that our technical outputs and services benefit from a conscious effort to combat biases in processes and workflows. Our activities in D&I are aligned with our organisational values and strategic objectives and drive towards our ambition to attract and retain the best people to our organisation.

FrontierSI would like to acknowledge the Māori as tangata whenua and Treaty of Waitangi partners in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of the land across Australia where our services are located. We also pay our respects to Elders past and present.

FrontierSI are a proud member association with the Diversity Council of Australia.

Statement from the Chair of the FrontierSI Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Our mission at FrontierSI is to bring the best people together to anticipate and solve large problems using our space and spatial expertise. We know that to do this, we need to create a work culture which is inclusive, that brings together diverse talent from different backgrounds, locations and experiences, and provides the conditions for them to flourish with psychological safety. We understand that we must go beyond equality to equity, that creating belonging takes hard work over time to sustain a strong culture, and that inclusion is a shifting goal that must be maintained.

We also understand that as technical experts working within a human context to solve complex, multistakeholder problems, we need to be aware of the unconscious biases that we have, or they will be replicated endlessly and scaled widely. FrontierSI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee work with the whole staff body to create internal and outward-facing initiatives for partners which provide a benchmark for awareness of unconscious biases in technology.

In our 2022 index of inclusion and belonging survey, we received validating feedback from the staff body on this –

“FrontierSI is a progressive organisation that takes diversity and inclusion seriously.”

“FrontierSI is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.”

“This is the best place I have ever worked for inclusiveness, culture, belonging, and ensuring the staff have a voice.”

“I’m so pleased that we have incredible women with scientific backgrounds in our organisation, and that it feels normal. Thank you for hiring incredible women.”

“FrontierSI recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion and are committed to ensuring continuous improvement for our geographically diverse staff base.”

– Roshni Sharma (Chair, FrontierSI Diversity & Inclusion Committee)

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in FrontierSI People & Culture

With staff located across Australia and New Zealand, staff health and wellbeing are a top priority for FrontierSI as a service-based organisation. We run ongoing initiatives such as flexible working conditions, Employee Assistance Program support, and team-based activities to promote social connection and health, ensure interconnectedness.

We are continuously committed to being an industry leader in relation to pay parity, gender equality and flexible work practices. In our 2021-2022 period, we saw female representation at 45% which was significantly higher than the spatial sector average.

We hold an annual staff inclusion and belonging survey to engage with the staff body about how we are tracking with regards to key diversity and inclusion metrics. We also hold expert-led D&I training workshops for all staff, paid internships for students who may traditionally face barriers entering the industry, and are constantly trialling new initiatives and supporting staff who are industry leaders within this area.

Volunteer Leave

Our paid volunteer leave program is important to our character as an organisation. FrontierSI encourage and support staff contribution to the wider community through voluntary activities. This could include, but is not limited to, volunteering for a registered charity, communuty or government organsiation, participating in community activities operated by our partners, voluntary work as part of our transformational initiatives or other activities of this nature.

FrontierSI Wellbeing Workshop

In 2022, staff attended two external sessions tailored for furthering our understanding as an organisation and as individuals arounds diversity, equity and inclusion. We explored topics including communicating for inclusion, our individual understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion and the paradox of inclusion.

Morning quiz

Working remotely has shown us the importance of making time for social catch-ups. One way in which we maintain this is through pooling together our knowledge and completing morning quizzes.

Insight Team Melbourne Catch-Up

In May 2023, our Insight Team came together for a week at our Melbourne office. As our Insight Team is split across three states and one territory, this was the first time the whole team was able to come together in-person. Their week was packed with activities including meeting with team members and FrontierSI’s Melbourne-based partners, brainstorming sessions, professional development and community service. This was a fantastic opportunity for team building and growing connections within the Insight Team and with other staff members.

2023 Indigenous Mapping Workshop

FrontierSI staff were delighted to support the Indigenous Mapping Workshop Australia hosted by Winyama. This annual workshop offers culturally appropriate and inclusive training in geospatial technologies for Indigenous leadership, agencies and communities, supporting Indigenous rights and interests. This knowledge sharing experience enabled our staff to share their technical experience through facilitating technical sessions on Earth observation platforms and building maps using Digital Earth Australia.

The Launching Leaders Inclusive Internship Program

The Launching Leaders inclusive internship program is one of our leading D&I initiatives, founded in 2022. FrontierSI saw the opportunity to provide internship placements to interns who come from a diverse range of backgrounds, identities and experiences, providing a foot in the door into our industry and invaluable experience that will improve their prospects for future employment in the space and spatial sector.

Our Launching Leaders inclusive internship program is a paid program available to students from our academic partner institutions, providing successful candidates an opportunity to gain technical and leadership skills, grow their networks and gain work experience in the space and spatial sector while completing their studies. Project areas included Data Science and Earth Observation, Space, and Positioning, and all interns were trained, guided, and supported by experienced FrontierSI leaders.

Our 2023 Interns

Rebecca Thomas

“Frontier SI is a remarkable and inclusive community of industry leaders within the Australian Space Sector. The team’s enthusiasm, skills, and dedication to fostering Australian capability and growth are truly inspiring. Participating in the Launching Leaders Inclusivity and Diversity Internship has been an invaluable and enjoyable experience. Engaging in the program was transformative as it offered an abundance of resources, numerous avenues for growth, and helped me advance significantly within the industry.”

Rebecca is a uniquely skilled individual, passionate about all things Aerospace. With a deep curiosity for innovation, Rebecca’s fascination for spatial positioning only expanded when joining the Frontier SI team as an intern. Studying Aviation Piloting and Space Technology at Swinburne University plus, working as a Search and Rescue Aircrewman, Rebecca has a unique understanding of the importance of space tech applications within multidisciplinary fields and real-world contexts, including assisting plus preserving life on Earth. Rebecca’s aviation career has afforded her the opportunity to travel the globe, live in the Middle East plus integrate her unique understanding of complex plus remote operations and adapt this knowledge to new systems. With previous studies in the Sciences, Rebecca has a broad knowledge basis with strong practical life experience and is an advocate for facilitating the progression and development of space technologies for the benefit of all.

James Weppner

“The Launching Leaders Internship Program has provided me with an opportunity to develop the knowledge I have learnt at university into applicable skills as well as new skills that will provide me with a boost in my future careers.”

James is currently FrontierSI’s 2023 Space Intern aiding in research and report writing for future ventures. He is in his final year of an Environmental Management degree majoring in Ecology, at UNSW. James has a keen interest in the application of Earth observation (EO) tools in ecosystem management. James also aims to undertake an Honours project in either Remote Sensing or GIS. James is a major plant fiend and acts as father to numerous plants both in and outside of home. He boasts two greenhouses which he is currently installing automated irrigation systems with a view of incorporating methods of recording various climatic factors such as temperature and humidity. James is an avid drummer having played for 15 years in bands throughout high school.

Zih-Hong Lin

It was my honour to participate in the FrontierSI Launching Leaders Internship. I focused on Digital Earth Africa’s coastline products, developing a Python script to compare Landsat and Sentinel-2 datasets. Inconsistencies in the results prompted coastline script modifications. During my internship, I honed my Python skills for remote sensing data analysis and processing. Additionally, connecting with professionals in the field has expanded my network and provided me with advice, and Industry insights. The internship also helped me recognize my strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth. Overall, it was an invaluable experience for me.”

Zih-Hong is a Ph.D. student majoring in Environmental Management at UNSW. With a background in Geography and Urban Planning, Zih-Hong has experience in applying remote sensing data and spatial statistical models to tackle complex spatial management issues. Zih-Hong’s latest project focuses on green infrastructure planning, an environmental efficiency strategy for creating sustainable cities. In his leisure time, Zih-Hong is a sports enthusiast who enjoys playing basketball, volleyball, table tennis, and badminton.

Our Partnerships

FrontierSI is actively seeking collaborations with our partner organisations with regards to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and events.

We are also interested in collaborating with our partners to showcase diversity and inclusion case studies and best practice.

If this is something which is of interest to you, please reach out to us at rsharma@frontiersi.com.au.