Meet the finalists of the Industry Advocacy Award

This award recognises individuals who have helped shape a positive view of their industry and/or helped to create a policy change that benefits those working in the sector.
Gina Rinehart – Executive Chairman, Hancock Prospecting
Gina Rinehart is a leading figure in the mining and agricultural industries in Australia. Under Mrs Rinehart’s leadership, the Hancock Group has diversified from prospecting to become a miner. Mrs Gina Rinehart has led the industry to come together to mark National Mining and Related Industries Day. The event provides the industry and its workers with a voice and mechanism to celebrate as a group, be proud of the industry they work in and what it does for Australia. The change in perception helped Mrs Gina Rinehart, lead the advocacy movement, during COVID-19, to keep the industry open. This was driven by the development of industry leading processes and procedures to keep workers safe. The result was that the state’s mining sector remained open for business and helped to keep Australia afloat during the pandemic.
Hermione Parsons – Director, Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics, Deakin University
Hermione Parsons is the Industry Professor and Director Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics at Deakin University. Supply Chain workforce needs are changing, and Dr Parsons and her team formed and implemented Wayfinder. Working with its 16 industry partners to build talent and capability in an industry currently confronting a challenge in attracting a workforce with the skills and capabilities it needs. The Wayfinder program is informed by research, and over 100 women in the sector, seeking their ideas on what attracts them to a supply chain career and the barriers they face to a successful career. Hermione has played an instrumental part into the underrepresentation of women in Supply Chain and her findings will play an instrumental part in future workforce strategies.
Jo Sainsbury – Director, Kickass Women
Jo Sainsbury drives women to succeed and has spent the past 8 years learning, developing, and growing in her role and to strive for change. She supports and inspires other women to consider a career or career change and to pursue roles within these diverse industries. She has been a strong drive in introducing a campaign that will launch in August called ‘The Future is Female.’ Sainsbury is the loud and proud creator and founder of Kickass Women where it is building a distinctive role in the rail, mining, resource, STEM and construction industries. Jo is using her voice via public speaking and social media to promote positive career success and career pathway outcomes for women and younger women.
Kylie Ward – Asia Pacific HR Director, Stantec
Kylie Ward has been advocating for Women in STEM industries in her role as Asia Pacific HR Director at Stantec for the last eight years. Kylie played a key role when Stantec introduced a new Technical Delivery Framework, which has helped identify people with significant technical expertise across Australia and New Zealand. Kylie introduced a Returnee ship Program in 2017 to increase the retention and engagement of staff returning from long absences, in particular women after having children. During 2020 Kylie coached six women from Stantec through the Returnee ship Program, plus another two women in 2021. By the last quarter of 2020, three out of four Stantec business units had an increased female headcount.
Megan McCracken – Chair, NAWO
Megan joined Arc Infrastructure in 2012 and brings 25 years of operational experience to her role, spanning the resources, automotive, energy and rail industries across Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. A key achievement at Arc Infrastructure under Megan’s tenure has been the reduction of the gender pay gap from 22.6% to less than 1%. This achievement was recognised recently by two peak industry bodies, with Arc Infrastructure receiving Engineers Australia’s Most Ambitious Company in Gender Diversity award and the Australian Rail Industry’s Workforce Diversity award. Megan advocated both within the industries she works for with her clients, but also across multiple industries to drive better gender balance in operations as the Chair of NAWO.

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