Recognising the Power of Diversity in the Western Australian Resources Sector

More than 1,000 people gathered in Perth today to recognise diversity in the resources sector, at the eighth annual Women in Resources Awards (WIRA), hosted by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME).

More than 1,000 people gathered in Perth today to recognise diversity in the resources sector, at the eighth annual Women in Resources Awards (WIRA), hosted by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME).

CME Chief Executive, Mr Reg Howard-Smith, said the awards celebrate the contributions and achievements of women and men building diversity in the Western Australian resources sector.

“This year’s winners were chosen from 90 nominations across five categories, reflecting not only the exceptional achievements of women working in our industry, but also the men and women who champion gender diversity, and the efforts made by companies to improve the participation of women in our workforce,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

Mr Howard-Smith said all of the winners are inspirational ambassadors for the Western Australian resources sector, and the work they do above and beyond does not go unnoticed.

“In addition to her demanding role as Alcoa’s Pinjarra refinery Operations Centre Group Leader, Sharron Freitas is a talented sportswoman who performs voluntary work with a range of sports clubs.

“Vanessa Torres is not only tireless in her efforts to improve professional female representation in the sector, but also works with a children’s charity in her native country of Brazil and Rachel Leong has trained over 60 volunteers to deliver school-based presentations to inspire students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and career opportunities.

“John Galvin is one of the growing number of senior male leaders willing to stand up and advocate for greater gender diversity in our overwhelmingly male-dominated industry through his work with the University of Western Australia’s Equality and Diversity Committee and in developing flexible work policies.

“It is not just individuals who are leaders of change in this area. Shell Australia’s Outstanding Company Initiative to eliminate the gender pay gap is a notable winner; helping to create a workplace where everyone feels respected and treated fairly.”

An additional sixth category, the People’s Choice Award, attracted over 2,100 unique votes and provided the broader community the opportunity to learn more about each of the finalists.

Close to 100 students from 24 West Australian schools were sponsored to attend the event by companies through the Inspiring Girls initiative. The students heard first-hand the benefits of choosing studies in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and pursuing careers in the resources sector.
 

The 2017 Women in Resources Awards winners are:

Outstanding Company Initiative
Shell Australia – Closing the Gender Pay Equity Gap

Outstanding Operator/Technician/Trade Woman in Resources
Sharron Freitas, Operations Centre Group Leader (Alcoa of Australia)

Outstanding Woman in Resources
Vanessa Torres, Vice President Operations Infrastructure (BHP Billiton Iron Ore)

Outstanding Young Woman in Resources
Rachel Leong, Surveillance Engineer (Woodside Energy)

Women in Resources Champion
John Galvin, Executive General Manager (Georgiou Group)

People’s Choice
Sharron Freitas, Operations Centre Group Leader (Alcoa of Australia)
 

  • Photographs are available on request
  • Further award information including short videos of the finalists and winners can be found at www.cmewa.com
  • CME thanks its sponsors BHP Billiton, Chevron, Rio Tinto, Alcoa of Australia, AngloGold Ashanti, BGC Contracting, Gold Fields Australia, Department of Local Government and Communities, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Northern Minerals, Shell Australia and TransAlta Energy, for their support of the awards.