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 is also 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 sectors and provide a cohort of female industry ambassadors, are part a nation-wide bid to increase the proportion of women in ‘non-traditional’ roles in the resources sector.
They follow on from the introduction of awards in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales and included finalists from around Australia
About 550 people attended the awards presentation lunch at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre today where guest speakers included the President of Human Resources for BHP Billiton Mike Fraser and Executive General Manager Mining for Thiess Michael Wright.
Assistant Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Seath Holswich assisted in the presentation of the awards.
‘I congratulate Laura on her significant achievements, particularly for blazing the trail for other women to follow in her footsteps up the corporate ladder,’ said Mr Roche.
‘While the representation of women in our sector’s workforce is increasing around the country, we know that we need to keep a sharp focus on measures to ensure that the sector becomes increasingly attractive to women, and provides a working environment that encourages them to stay.
‘I congratulate Minerals Council of Australia and our other state partners in partnering to produce this valuable award.’
Next year, the event is scheduled to be hosted by another of the event partners.