Cindy Poulos inspires Inland Rail staff on International Women’s Day

Moree businesswoman Cindy Poulos took a cheeky swipe at publication Forbes Magazine when she gave an inspiring speech to celebrate International Women’s Day at the offices of Trans4m Rail on Tuesday.

More than 150 Inland Rail staff stopped work to hear Cindy’ story and enjoy an afternoon tea supplied by the Moree branch of the Country Women’s Association.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Break the Bias, and Cindy took exception to Forbes Magazine’s 2021 list of the world’s 100 most powerful women.

“Only 100, huh,” Cindy asked, tongue-in-cheek.

“Well, Forbes Magazine might be a leading publication on finance, industry, investing and marketing matters, but I think they’ve got the numbers wrong.

“Every woman on this planet is powerful, in their own, special way. There are women chairing boardrooms across the country and there are humble, anonymous mums dropping the kids off to school before heading to work.

“There are female politicians running parliaments across the globe and there are young girls packing groceries at the check-outs at Coles and Woolies,” she said.

“All these women are equally powerful. They are a force. They keep the cogs of this strange, strange world oiled and turning – no matter how rocky the road ahead might get.”

Cindy Poulos with Inland Rail staff Jodie Grant (left), Kerrie Pridmore (right) and, at back, Suzie Treloar.

Cindy told Inland Rail staff that stereotypes are being smashed and inequality is eroding – on the streets, in everyday life and in the workplace.

But the process is far from over, and International Women’s Day is a timely reminder of that.

“It’s not all that long ago women were expected to stay at home and wash the dishes while the men went to work. That was just the accepted way of life,” Cindy said.

“Could you imagine a workforce in this day and age without women?

“Nothing would get done!”

Cindy believes the COVID-19 pandemic has played a small part in breaking the bias on a global stage.

“I was in China visiting my family when COVID-19 was first detected in late 2019. Within days the virus spread its tentacles around the world. I was lucky to get back to Australia when I did – international borders closed not long after I touched down at Sydney Airport,” she said.

“During the past two years the world has united like never before. In a strange way, COVID has brought together many people from different backgrounds, cultures and countries.

“This pandemic that has killed thousands and thousands of people worldwide is also helping break the bias as men and women unite with a common goal – to beat and eradicate the virus,” she said.

Trans4m Rail communications and stakeholder engagement manager Jodie Grant said barriers were slowly being broken in the construction industry – but there was still a long way to go.

“Nearly 14 percent of construction industry workers are women, but only about one percent work on-site,” Jodie said.

“We’re pretty lucky here at Trans4m Rail. We employ more than 17 percent of women in the industry and one-third of the company’s leadership team are women.

“Hearing Cindy’s story of being so far away from her home in China and the most inspiring woman in her life being her mum, certainly resonated with a lot of the Trans4m Rail team, with many of us working away from home,” Jodie said.

“Cindy is certainly inspiring, and no doubt will have a lot more of the Trans4m Rail staff dropping by to have coffee and a chat.

“The Moree community is very lucky to have someone like Cindy, and we were very lucky to hear her story,” Jodie said.