From military to Australia Post’s first female Transport Manager: How Kylie is smashing gender stereotypes
When Kylie was told her army role was “no life for a girl”, she set out to prove she could do it. Now, as Australia Post’s first female Transport Manager, she’s an inspiration to many women.
Video: Near Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance, an Australian solider in full uniform gazes at the Eternal Flame, then at a statue depicting a military driver, her face sombre. She stands before the Shrine's towering pillars, then walks slowly down the imposing stairs.
Audio: Woman: I was 17 when I joined the Army. I did 18 years as a truck driver. I never fitted the mould or even thought that I had an image that I have to follow. I just loved doing what I was doing and had the determination to just keep going. My stepdad said to me, "It's no life for a girl in the Army," so I said, "Sure. Watch this."
Video: The title 'Journeys' forms across aerial footage of a large parking lot full of Australia Post and StarTrack vehicles. The Australia Post logo sits underneath. Wearing a yellow safety vest, her blonde hair tied back, the soldier sits in a huge Australia Post sorting facility Text: "Kylie Doyle." Kylie inspects an Australia Post truck, then climbs into the driver's seat. Wearing an Army camouflage uniform, she drives.
Audio: Kylie: My role in the military - logistics, transport, policy, safety - 100% set me up for what I'm doing at Australia Post. I'd already had all of the 18 years' experience with driving and managing and it gives you that confidence as a female leader to go, "You know what? I know what I'm doing." 'Cause it's so tiring for women having to constantly prove themselves day in, day out when it should just be equal.
Video: Casually dressed, Kylie plays indoor basketball with three children. All three tackle Kylie as she shoots.
Audio: Kylie: In the military, it's not just a job, it's a lifestyle and a lot of women find that really difficult because you're a mum, you're a parent, and you're naturally going to say, "Look, I'm going to put my kids first."
Video: At the Australia Post warehouse, Kylie uses a radio, then guides a road train into the massive building. Kylie watches a female driver open the fabric sides of the road train. Kylie helps unload a van, walks through the facility with a colleague and watches the massive network of conveyor belts carrying mail. Parcels slide from conveyor belts down chutes to sorting benches.
Audio: Kylie: When I first started at Post, I was the very first female Transport Manager they had had. Thing I had in mind when I came here was, "I'm no different to them. I'm just gonna come in here and do the best I can do, and if that means I'm gonna change the culture, then I'm starting to achieve what I've come here for." There was maybe three or four female drivers. That alone is a huge thing to try and change and I think we're slowly doing it.
Yeah, so, my area of responsibility not only is the truck movements and the people. It's also working closely with the heads of Processing and Network Planning because everything that moves in Post is touched by Transport. In a facility like the one we're sitting in here at Sunshine West, on average, they would process 80,000 to 120,000 parcels on a day.
Video: In an office, Kylie attends a meeting with male colleagues. She works with a woman in an office. Outside, she signals to a truck, then strides past a line of trucks. Smiling, Kylie gazes at the Australia Post facility.
Audio: Kylie: My time in the military shaped me because it gave me the tools that I needed as a leader in that environment. I hope to use this position as an inspiration for other females to show them that, hey, there is an opportunity out there. We want everyone to be successful and feel safe in this environment and it really starts with you. Making these changes is never easy, but it's always worth it.
Video: Kylie stands at the head of a group of male and female colleagues. On a red screen text reads, "To watch the full 'Journeys' series go to auspost.com.au/watch." The Australia Post logo appears on a red screen above the words "Delivering for Australia."
Audio: Voiceover: Just one story from over 60,000 team members. Australia Post. Delivering for Australia.
When Kylie Doyle joined the army, she was 17 years old and unsure what life had in store for her.
But when a family member told her that being in the military was “no life for a girl”, one thing became clear: that she wasn’t going to be confined to a life that others believed was suited to her gender.
Her response to that doubting family member was, “Watch this!”
“I never fit the mould or even thought I had an image that I had to follow, I just loved doing what I was doing,” she says. “I had a determination to keep going.”
Kylie has taken great pride in continuing to smash gender stereotypes throughout her career, starting in her army days and carried and right through to her role as Australia Post’s first female Transport Manager.
An advocate for positive change
Kylie worked in the military for 18 years, including challenging but enjoyable roles in logistics, transport, policy and safety. She says these years gave her a confidence that women can sometimes find difficult to harness in such roles.
“It gives you that confidence as a female leader to go, ‘You know what, I know what I’m doing’,” she says of her time in the military. “It’s so tiring for women having to constantly prove themselves day in, day out, when it should just be equal.”
When she joined Australia Post three years ago , Kylie was determined to continue doing the great work she knew she was capable of. “The thing I had in mind when I came here was, ‘I’m no different to (the men)’,” she says.
Kylie adds that the determination to smash gender stereotypes that she’d first tasted as a 17-year-old was once again ignited. “If that means I’m going to change the culture then I’m starting to achieve what I’ve come here for.”
Part of this culture change that Kylie had in mind was increasing the number of women working across the Australia Post transport network.
At the time, she says there were few women working in transport, a statistic she was keen to have an impact on. “There were maybe three or four female drivers – that alone is a huge thing to try and change, and I think we’re slowly doing it,” Kylie says.
“Making these changes is never easy, but it’s always worth it.”
Kylie Doyle with her fellow Australia Post team members.
Change starts with every one of us
Kylie’s life now circles around her three children, something she says is easier in her role with Australia Post than during her time in the army.
“In the military, it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. A lot of women find that really difficult because you’re a mum and you’re naturally going to say, ‘I’m going to put my kids first’,” she explains.
But Kylie wouldn’t take back a moment of her career, crediting her time in the army for setting her up for the success she’s had in her current leadership role.
And it’s certainly a busy role. “In a facility like the one we’re sitting in here at Sunshine West, on average they would process 80,000 to 120,000 parcels in a day,” Kylie says.
“My area of responsibility not only is the truck movements and the people, it’s also working closely with the heads of processing and network planning, because everything that moves in Post is touched by transport.”
When Kylie was told, as a young woman, that she shouldn’t be in the army, she did it anyway. Now, she wants to prove that anything is possible for women in the transport industry.
“I hope to use this position as an inspiration for other females, to show them that there is an opportunity out there,” she says.
And her message to anyone reading or watching her story is that you, too, have the power to make positive change.
“We want everyone to be successful and feel safe in this environment, and it really starts with you.”
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