Inclusive and diverse workforce can positively impact and influence business to grow, remain competitive and relevant.
That was the key message from the Rio Tinto Women in Resources National Awards and Forum held in Launceston on August 31.
With the theme ‘Why Diversity and Inclusion is Good for Business’ more than 100 of the country’s best and brightest came together to discuss and learn about what business leaders, governments and women can do to address the current imbalance.
Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council President Ray Mostogl said the resources sector recognised the benefits that increased diversity can bring to business.
“The sector is increasingly improving practices that support fairer and more flexible policies focussed on recruitment, retention and promotion of women,” Mr Mostogl said.
“Women also need good role models and these awards reflect the commitment and leadership shown by women in the sector.”
Mr Mostogl said it was clear from the quality of finalists and award winners that there had been growth in the exceptional achievements and strength of women working in what has traditionally been a male dominated sector.
An example of how the sector was developing for the better was the presentation by Golden Diversity from Queechy High School – the first ever all-female team to take out the top prize as National Champions in the 2017 F1 in Schools Technology Challenge.
The Women in Resources National Awards is a partnership between the Minerals Council of Australia and its Northern Territory and Victorian branches, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia, the Queensland Resources Council, the New South Wales Minerals Council and the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council, supported by various state Women in Mining Network branches.
Winners of the 2017 Rio Tinto Australian Women in Resources National Awards were:
Gender Diversity Champion in Australia Resources
Fiona Robertson, Non-Executive Director, Heron Resources (NSW)
Excellence in Company Diversity Programs and Performance
St Barbara Limited (VIC)
Outstanding Tradeswoman/Operator/Technician in Australian Resources
Carolyn Dobson, Diesel Fitter, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) (QLD)
Exceptional Young Woman in Australian Resources
Rachel Leong, Lead Surveillance Engineer, Woodside Energy Ltd (WA)
Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources
Vanessa Torres, Vice President, Operational Infrastructure, BHP Iron Ore (WA)
Special Judges Awards
Andrew Bigg, Operations Manager Mining and Mobile Maintenance, South32 GMECO (NT)
Industry Achievement Award
Michelle Keegan, Vice President Strategy, Incitec Pivot Limited (VIC)