Peabody Energy’s Janette Hewson has taken out this year’s top award at the 10th annual Resources Awards for Women.
Hewson, Director, Services, Supply Chain Management for Peabody Energy Australia won the Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources Award at a luncheon held in Brisbane last week.
Hewson began her career in 1995 after graduating with an arts/law degree, specialising in advising mining and energy clients.
She later joined Peabody and led internal legal and sustainable development teams before taking up her current role, which controls hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending on services for the company’s operations.
“Way back in 1988 when I graduated from school, there is no way I thought that in my early 40s I would be working in senior management in the mining industry and having the chance to reinvent myself every few years,” Hewson said.
“I have learnt during my 20 year career it is important to not close doors or assume that you will always work in the same field.”
Hewson has three children and credits her ability to rise through the ranks to supportive employers and family.
“In the early years of being a working mother I felt guilty about not being with our children all the time”’ she said.
“Over time, I have become content that I can still be a good mother and enjoy a high-pressured role that involves travel. My husband and children are terrific supporters of me.
“I hope that my husband and I demonstrate to our sons and daughter that they do not have to fit any stereotypes.
“I also talk openly with our children (now 12, 10 and six) about mining careers. We have budding geologists and engineers in our ranks.”
QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said the mining sector needs to continue to encourage people who are under-represented in its ranks to consider resources sector careers, and women remained obvious targets.
“We have made good progress, with the proportion of women in non-traditional roles such as engineering, geology, trades, operators and senior management increasing from 6 per cent in 2006 to 13.5 per cent in 2013-14,” Roche said.
“However we can’t rest on our laurels, and we need to build on the initiatives put in place over the past 10 years to ensure women continue to share in the great careers and prosperity provided by our sector.”