Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) was recognised at the 2020 Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia, Women in Resources Awards in Perth on Friday night. The awards celebrate individuals and organisations which help foster the development of women within the sector, such as through career opportunities and increased participation.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Elizabeth Gaines was named Women in Resources Champion while Briohny Evans, Superintendent Fixed Plant Planning, was recognised by her peers winning the People’s Choice Award.
As the first female chief executive of a major Australian mining company and one of three female CEOs of ASX50 companies, Ms Gaines is in a unique position to encourage, promote and advocate for women in resources and corporate Australia more broadly. Ms Gaines actively encourages building a greater pool of female talent in the mining industry, particularly in the trades, and promotes practical measures to support women and men juggle career and family responsibilities.
Accepting the award on Friday night, Ms Gaines said, “Diversity needs champions and commitment to diversity starts at the top. I would like to recognise our Founder and Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO for his commitment to diversity. Diversity is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do and Fortescue’s success is proof.
“Fortescue is a values-based business, with a unique, differentiated culture that champions diversity and our commitment is built on a very practical approach. I have had the privilege of meeting many women at our mine sites and in our Perth office whose lives have been transformed through that very simple, but compelling proposition of training for a guaranteed job.
“I would also like to thank the Fortescue team who work day in, day out to build a safe, supportive workplace that embraces diversity and a world class mining operation,” Ms Gaines said.
A qualified electrician, Briohny was a finalist for the Outstanding Operator/Technician/Trade Woman in Resources Award and won the People’s Choice Award.
Reflecting on the award, Ms Evans said, “I started my journey as an electrical apprentice in mining at the age of 17 when the culture in the industry was very different. Winning this award makes me very proud that I never gave up and as a result of my experience, I got stronger and more resilient.
“I now have an incredible opportunity to share my story, inspire others and highlight the amazing initiatives our industry has implemented to build a positive culture that embraces women and values their contribution,” Ms Evans said.
As a strong advocate for women’s participation and advancement within the resources sector, Briohny has mentored several women, offering them support and career advice.