The first woman to be appointed as an asset president within BHP Billiton has won the prestigious Resources Award for Women presented in Brisbane today.
Laura Tyler, Asset President for BHP Billiton’s Cannington Mine in North-West Queensland the world's largest silver and lead mine—introduced Cannington’s first diversity plan to improve the attraction and retention of women in the company’s workforce.
A mother of three, Laura has been ‘a working FIFO wife’ and has worked across four continents. She spends many hours mentoring other women, both inside and outside the company, to help them succeed in the sector.
Laura also recently became the first woman to be appointed as a Vice President of the Queensland Resources Council.
‘We must encourage our male colleagues to speak out on the subject. They remain the dominant hiring managers in our business and it is only through their engagement that we will see magnified change in the status quo,’ said Laura.
‘I have spoken at women’s events around the world to empower other women and show them that females can successfully fill senior roles in the industry. I believe diversity is not only important for individuals but also for our businesses.
‘Often I am the only women at the table in meetings. This needs to be corrected.’
‘Our contribution as an industry extends beyond employment, community development, royalties, taxes and shareholders and into people’s futures and dreams.
‘The ability to transform a natural resource into energy, infrastructure or food has far reaching implications for the communities beyond our front gate. It is the cornerstone for development and improving living standards across the world. The role our industry plays is very significant and comes with great responsibility.’
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche says the awards, which lift the profile of women in the minerals and energy sector and provide a cohort of female industry ambassadors, are part of the QRC's plan to increase the proportion of women in 'non-traditional' roles in the resources sector to 20 percent by 2020.
'I congratulate Laura on her significant achievements, particularly for blazing the trail for other women to follow in her footsteps up the corporate ladder.
‘Stories such as Laura’s are reflected in our most recent gender diversity survey of our member which shows we are on track to reach our 20 percent by 2020 target..
'Our 2012-13 returns show women make up 17 percent of our overall workforce, up from 14 percent in 2011-12.
‘The proportion of women working in our sector in non-traditional roles, which include senior management, engineering, trades, geology and operators, has increased from 11.9 in financial year 2011-12 to 13.5 percent in 2012-13.
The proportion of women who are executive managers rose from 7 percent to 9 percent, project management from 8 percent to 21 percent, superintendents from 13 percent to 19 percent and supervisors from 5 percent to 7 percent.
‘Female engineers increased from 12 to 15 percent, and geologists up 1 percent to 32 percent. The proportion of operators also rose 1 percent to 10 percent.
‘Disappointingly though, the proportion of female trades people languishes at just 2 percent of the trades workforce. We have a lot more work to do in this area, and not just for women. Trade training needs to come into the 21st century.
It’s an area where QRC is working hard with governments and the skills and training sector for better outcomes. I was privileged to chair the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce in 2012 and its final report proposed a number of trade training reforms, which are now being implemented by the Queensland Government.
‘While our statistics continue to trend upwards, we know that we need to keep a sharp focus on measures to ensure that the resources sector is attractive to women, and provides a working environment that encourages them to stay.'
The awards were presented by the Assistant Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Lisa France, President of the QRC Rob Neale and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland Chair Jules Blunt.
Full list of winners:
Winner: Laura Tyler Asset President, BHP Billiton Cannington Mine
Highly Commended: Linda Murry, Planning & Logistics Manager - Weipa, Rio Tinto Alcan; Amy Hodson-Clarke, Well Engineering and Technology Manager, Geodynamics Limited; Leisa Elder, Vice President, Community & Sustainable Development, Arrow Energy.
Winner: Cindy Emmett, Anglo Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal, Moranbah North Mine
Highly Commended: Roxy Quirk, Prestrip Contracts Senior Analyst, BMA Goonyella Riverside Mine; Monica Joseph Electrical Engineer, Zinc-Lead Concentrator, Glencore Mount Isa Mines.
Winner: Amy Woods, Underground Install electrician Glencore Mount Isa Mines
Highly Commended: Megan Turner, Fourth-year Apprentice Diesel Fitter, Anglo American; Hayley Daniels, Supervisor Field Maintenance Electrician, BMA Coal Blackwater Mine
Winner: Leah Ross, Superintendent, Open Pit Operations, Thiess Mining Curragh North Coal Mine
Highly Commended: Elisha Lauren Beresford, Head Operator Trainer/Multi-skilled Operator, Thiess Mining Curragh North Mine; Megan Hetherington, Cablebolter Glencore Mount Isa Copper Operations
Gender Diversity Champion
Winner: Craig McCabe, General Manager, Wesfarmers Curragh Coal Mine
Highly Commended: Ben Bradley, Manager Human Resources, BMA Caval Ridge Mine; Penny Hamilton, Diversity Officer, Thiess Australian Mining.
Best Company Initiative:
Winner: BMA - Daunia and Caval Ridge mine diversity program
Highly Commended:Thiess/Wesfarmers Curragh ‘Oothungs (Sisters) in Mining; Wesfarmers Resources Wesfarmers Resources’ Women in Resources program
Queensland Resources Council
Thursday 6th of March 2014