This afternoon, in an online award ceremony, Brett was announced as winner of the Rio Tinto Gender Diversity Champion in Australia Award at the seventh annual Women in Resources National Awards (WIRNA) hosted by the Minerals Council of Australia.
The Gender Diversity Champion Award recognises a male or female for their excellence in the encouragement, promotion and advocacy for the attraction, retention and promotion of women within their company and/or the Australian resources sector.
Brett, who is a crew leader in Power Supply at BBA said, “I was certainly not expecting to win this award. As a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, it is a great honour to be recognised in this way.
“With 85% of our workforce male, this work is very important. We need to engage and involve more of our employees at Bell Bay to change culture and make real advances with a goal to balancing gender diversity.”
Brett has led the recruitment process at Bell Bay for electrical apprentices for many years and has mentored female apprentices, including the smelter’s most recently qualified electrician who has now become the first female power controller in the site’s 65-year history.
Two years ago, Brett embraced the opportunity to become a champion on site for inclusion and diversity. In this role, Brett has been instrumental in developing initiatives such as facility audits and work area reviews to ensure compliance with relevant standards, more importantly, ensure facilities are safe, comfortable, and provide the necessary amenities for female employees.
Over that period, Brett has also identified shortcomings in the availability of clothing and equipment for female employees and has introduced a range of women’s clothing, boots and safety equipment, including harnesses and gloves, specifically suited to BBA’s female employees.
“While it is challenging, there is a lot of opportunity at Bell Bay to attract females into our workforce across a range of roles. I am looking forward to taking a lead role in further educating and encouraging my work colleagues to come on this journey,” Brett said.
“I have two daughters and I want them to be able to work in whatever career they choose, without having to overcome challenges and obstacles that many males do not have to face. This drives me to work hard, with my employer and in our industry, to remove barriers to females who join our workforce and have ambition to succeed.”
Bell Bay Aluminium general manager Shona Markham congratulated Brett and said, “This is a fantastic achievement for Brett and for Bell Bay Aluminium. To have Brett’s hard work and passion for diversity and inclusion acknowledged nationally by peers across the resources and mining sector is a huge accolade.”
“We are working hard to shift the dial on female participation in our workforce and I am extremely proud of Brett’s work. This award reflects the commitment and leadership Brett demonstrates in his role. It also reinforces our belief that the long-term sustainability of our sector relies on attracting and retaining skilled people from diverse backgrounds.”