Sep 15, 2018

Queensland women shine at national awards

Queensland women shine at national awards QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane with Gender Diversity Champion Rachel Durdin.

Queensland’s Rachel Durdin was among the winners at  the 2018 Women in Resources National Awards.

Ms Durdin, general manager, project shaping with Rio Tinto in Brisbane, was named Gender Diversity Champion at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra this week.

Ms Durdin has led Rio Tinto’s response to family and domestic violence including Rio Tinto’s pursuit of White Ribbon Workplace accreditation.

She mentors women through the Queensland Resources Council/Women in Mining and Resources Queensland mentoring program and helps senior leaders throughout Rio Tinto in inclusive strategies.

“I will continue to advocate for women within our business and the broader sector by challenging our leadership until we have significant movement towards equal representation, equal pay, career progression and above all a workplace that is committed to having an impact in eradicating family and domestic violence,” Ms Durdin said.

Rio Tinto took out the Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance Award for its White Ribbon accreditation program.

Fellow Queensland finalist Jo-Anne Dudley was highly commended in the Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources category.

Ms Dudley, senior manager strategic mine and resources planning with Rio Tinto, travels regularly to Mongolia and manages 30 people across three locations; Brisbane, Ulaanbaatar and the Oyu Tolgoi Mine Site.

Senior manager strategic mine and resources planning with Rio Tinto, Jo-Anne Dudley.

“I’d really like to get the message out to parents and educators that working in the mining industry is something that we should be encouraging young women to do,” she said.

“To ensure that not only the strongest survive those early, and often lonely years, I am a passionate participator in the WIMARQ/QRC mentoring program having mentored four wonderful women in resources over the past three years.”

Queensland’s Dannielle Weston, a diesel fitter with Hastings Deering, was awarded a highly commended prize in the Exceptional Trade Technician/Operator category.

Heading for 20 per cent target

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the awards played a pivotal role in our sector’s efforts to bring better gender balance to the workforce.

“The QRC and its members have a goal of at least 20 percent women in ‘non-traditional’ roles—such as engineering, earth sciences, trades and operators—by 2020,” he said.

“We’ve been running our state awards since 2006, which have provided a rich line of role models and ambassadors to inspire women to enter and remain in our resources sector.

“The economic and social benefits of better gender balance for our sector is well made and we believe that women should have equal access to the rewarding and high-paying careers it offers.

“Over the past 12 years since the introduction of our Women in Resources Action Plan, the proportion of women working in non-traditional roles in our sector in Queensland has risen from just six percent to 15 percent in our latest survey of members.

“If we are to attract the best and brightest into our increasingly technological sector, we need to scoop from the entire talent pool, not just half of it.

“I am very proud of all our Queensland finalists who are great examples of people and companies who have championed the cause of improving diversity in our resources sector.”

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