Enabling BizCubed with Rebecca Zeus

by Rebecca Zeus
June 14, 2023
BizCubed staff diversity

Enabling Diversity

As owner and executive director focused on the operational management of the business, I am presented with numerous opportunities to help establish BizCubed’s corporate values and build processes based on those values. One of the things I am most proud of is our recruitment process. BizCubed faces common challenges when it comes to recruitment: finding and retaining the right people, recruitment costs, and the risk of new employees not working out. We have stepped away from traditional criteria and hiring practices to create a system that works for us.

The rationale and mindset I bring to the table when developing systems like our recruitment process have been formed over the course of my career.

From Bomb Squad to Board

As a child, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said palaeontologist. I wanted to discover dinosaur bones. I was passionate about nature and the environment. At 12 I changed my direction when my father read about an emerging field of environmental engineering. That ambition stuck.

I studied chemical engineering and then a master’s degree in environmental engineering at a previously all-male university, the only female in my advanced math class.  Being in a minority has never phased me, in fact it often inspires me into action to create change – my university didn’t have any spring sports available for women, so I founded a lacrosse team, which the university quickly took on and turned into a varsity offering.

My first job out of uni was as a power plant boiler inspector, before I ended up at a multinational industrial gas company in the US, where I’m from. The role took me to what was supposed to be a two year stay in Australia. That was 2004, and I’m still here.

I looked after safety and engineering standards in the manufacturing of a highly flammable and explosive gas, acetylene. Expertise that not many other people had led me to one of the more exciting moments of my career – blowing up acetylene cylinders at the military testing ground in Sydney. We worked with a bomb squad to ensure safe evacuation procedures to avoid community impacts.

My husband Zach launched BizCubed in 2006 and worked on recruiting me into the company and onto the board. While considering this career move, I participated in a program called Next Generation of Female Leaders and was exposed to board, C-suite and executive roles and the impact one could have in such a role. It spoke to my volunteer heart, and I realised how much I could give back by being on a board.

When a particularly exciting project came up at BizCubed it seemed like the right time to see if we could work together. I’ve had different roles over the past eight years as the team has shifted and grown and it’s been challenging, fun and rewarding.

Currently, I manage all the functions that enable the business to run.

All in the process

A clear objective underpinning the development of BizCubed’s recruitment process was the reduction of bias, of all kinds. As a woman in the predominantly male field of engineering, I’m certainly aware that just having an obviously female name can set you back in a normal recruitment process before they’ve even looked at your resume, and that’s just one form of bias at play.

Zach and I wanted to align recruitment with the company’s Ways and Values. We designed a very intentional process that builds on these values and business practices to identify the criteria we need to look for. This allows us to identify the people who can meet BizCubed’s technical skills requirements while remaining open to the world around them.  

Since this process has been introduced, I’ve seen increased diversity in candidates who progress through the recruitment rounds and then through to the teams. It’s been exciting and rewarding to see that stepping away from traditional criteria has naturally opened the gates to more diversity of thought and experience.

We’ve also introduced a systematic onboarding process and these changes are showing dividends in the way we’re working, the feedback we’re getting and the value we’re adding for our customers.

Being process oriented doesn’t mean you need to remain stuck in traditional practices. We develop processes and systems that work for our business and allow it to run smoothly. Then, repeatable execution frees up time for creative thinking and for the next big idea that can make an impact.

Portrait of Maxx Silver
Rebecca Zeus

Rebecca Zeus is Co-CEO and Director of Enabling Services at BizCubed. A chemical engineer by training and a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt, she has built a reputation as an expert in process design and implementation. Most recently, she led a company-wide initiative to formalise and certify BizCubed’s Information Security Management System. She is also a mother of four, an avid volunteer, a non-profit board member, and a crafting-enthusiast.

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