BHP Billiton’s Human Resource President Mike Fraser delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Women in Resources National Awards (WIRNA), held yesterday in Brisbane, congratulating the winners and stressing the importance of diversity in the sector.
The Thiess Women in Resources National Awards recognise and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women in the resources sector of Australia, with the aim to raise awareness of women in the industry and encourage more women to consider a career in the resources sector.
WIRNA builds on the state-based Resources Council awards that celebrate women, men and companies who make outstanding contributions to the industry.
According to the media release by BHP Billiton, the company had four finalists nominated: Lucas Dow, Asset President, BMA for the ‘Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance’ category; Laura Tyler, Asset President, Cannington for ‘Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources’; Jo Barron-Perry, Senior Mining Engineer, Olympic Dam for ‘Gender Diversity Champion in Australian Resources’ category; and Emma Stevenson, Electrical Instrument Technician, Nickel West for ‘Outstanding Australian Tradeswoman/ Operator/ Technician category .
“Diversity and inclusion make good business sense. We have found that where our workplaces are more inclusive and collaborative, we achieve superior performance results. Safety results are better, production is more stable, employee engagement is higher and turnover is lower,” said Mr Fraser.
“We are addressing the historical gender imbalance we have seen in our industry by having a particular emphasis on increasing female representation in key operational roles. For example, in Queensland, our Daunia and Caval Ridge operations are proving that with a strong commitment, the gender diversity gap in the resources industry can be narrowed. From the start of development of these projects seven years ago, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) committed to create a diverse workforce at Daunia and Caval Ridge with at least 30% female and 5% Indigenous employees. The operations offered training for female employees new to the industry and interested in taking on more responsibility. We are now on track to achieve this goal by 2015 with female employees now making up 25% at Daunia and 20% at Caval Ridge.”