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Q&A Dec 8, 2022

Living our BeyondZero Culture: A Q&A with Kelly Woods

In this Q&A get to know Kelly Woods, one of our leaders in Australia whose commitment to physical and mental safety has inspired her team and created a culture of trust.

Q&A with Kelly Woods Aerospace Combat Systems Branch Integrated Work Partnership Task Coordinator and Operations Manager Queensland, Australia


Hi Kelly, tell us about your role at Jacobs.

I am the Aerospace Combat Systems Branch Integrated Work Partnership (IWP) Task Coordinator and Operations Manager for Queensland 1 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, in beautiful south-east Queensland.

My IWP Task Coordinator role involves coordinating, managing and delivering the IWP tasks, reporting, schedules and deliverables across the contract. Even though I’ve only been doing this role for six months, I am absolutely loving it! It’s fast-paced, I work on a wide range of issues, and the team is fantastic. Steve Jobs once said: “Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people”, and this has never been more evident than with this great team I am grateful to have joined.

As Operations Manager, I lead a team of 21 people. I love getting to know the talented and driven people we have in Jacobs; understanding their strengths and skill-gaps and finding out what drives them. I enjoy hearing and sharing stories and learning from everyone.

Why is Jacobs’ BeyondZero culture important to you?

Safety is always at the forefront of my mind; however, this wasn’t always the case. Sometimes that quintessentially Australian mentality of “She’ll be right, mate” would creep in. After my husband fell from a ladder at home and sustained severe injuries that have significantly altered our lives, safety – both physical and mental – has become my absolute priority.

I often submit BeyondZero Observations to share my experiences and insights. I think it is a fantastic program that really makes it easy to raise awareness of both professional and personal health and safety issues that managers can share with teams across the world.

How do you champion this culture within your team?

I am open, honest and vulnerable, which creates a culture of trust. I regularly meet with or call my team members to check in and ensure they are doing okay. They know that if they ever need anything they can reach out and I will be there for them. Safety in all aspects is important to all of us and something I advocate within my team.

What makes Jacobs a great place to work?

For me it’s the leadership team – to again quote Steve Jobs: “Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” Jacobs’ leaders treat their employees as the people they are, not just a number. Jacobs invests in their people, supports career development, offers opportunities and really listens.

Where would we find you on the weekend?

The sunshine and water soothe my soul, so you will find me by my pool with a book in hand – I love being outdoors with my family in the beautiful weather we have here in south-east Queensland. My husband and kids are my first priority so anything we can do together is always perfect.

About BeyondZero

BeyondZero® is our approach to the health, safety and security of our people, the protection of the environment and the resilience of Jacobs. BeyondZero is the foundation of our company's Culture of Caring℠ and a core part of our values and who we are at Jacobs.

BeyondZero is the foundation of our company's culture of caring and a core part of our values and who we are at Jacobs. We are proud that in our culture, our people go beyond following rules, procedures and processes. Our goal is beyond driving statistics to zero. We celebrated the 15-year anniversary of BeyondZero in 2022, and although we’ve made significant progress since commencing our journey in 2007, our performance can always be better. It’s imperative that through our common vision and purpose, we continue to improve together.

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About the interviewee

Kelly Woods

Kelly Woods began her Jacobs career five years ago after leaving the Australian Public Service, where she worked in the Australian Taxation Office. Kelly is the Critical Mission Solutions Asia-Pacific Positive Mental Health Champion network co-lead, with a strong commitment to creating mentally healthy workplaces. Kelly is married to Paul and has two children, Chloe and Riley.

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