March 10, 2016
Top Alcoa Women Recognised
An Alcoa employee, who started her career 22 years ago as a site clerk, has taken out top honours at the 2016 Women in Resources Awards in Perth.
Yvonne Fahey won the ‘Outstanding Operator/Technician/Trade Woman in Resources’ category, ahead of finalists Suzan Drake-Brockman from Alcoa’s Kwinana Refinery and Woodside’s Laura Allen.
The prestigious Women in Resources Awards, run by the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME), recognise individual excellence and outstanding contributions to the State’s resources sector and serve to promote positive role models to young women considering a career in the industry.
A Halls Head resident, Yvonne has worked for Alcoa for nine years and is currently a Mobile Maintenance Field Planner at Huntly bauxite mine near Pinjarra.
Yvonne’s fascination with the resources sector began at Marvel Loch Gold Mine near Southern Cross, east of Perth, in 1994.
“My site clerk role opened my eyes to a new world; I was captivated by the varied roles offered in the mining industry and within a year I was on the frontline driving some of the large mobile equipment used in the industry,” said Yvonne.
“Trucks, watercarts, graders, dozers, loaders and excavators were some of the big ‘toys’ I got to play with.
“I loved what I did but I wanted to learn more so in 1998 I acquired, as one of only a handful of women from a non-engineering background, a restricted Open Pit Quarry Manager’s license.
“In getting this license I had to work in a blast crew and attain a Shotfirer’s license; it was tough physical work but very rewarding, especially after my first successful blast.”
Following a five-year break from paid work to devote time to raising three children, Yvonne returned to the resources sector part-time in 2007 to work for Alcoa. Yvonne quickly immersed herself in administering Huntly bauxite mine’s fleet management system before taking on another non-traditional role five years later as a Mobile Maintenance Short Term Planner, a role usually occupied by heavy-duty mechanical fitters.
In reflecting on her 20-year resource industry career, Yvonne feels the biggest challenges presented themselves while working in non-traditional roles.
“I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved and I hope my story is inspirational to young women considering their employment options,” she said.
“This industry, and Alcoa especially, is very supportive of women. If you are prepared to focus and put your mind to it you can do any job, there are no limits.”
Another worthy award winner was People’s Choice favourite Suzan Drake-Brockman from Alcoa’s Kwinana alumina refinery.
Suzan is a Training and Development Coordinator who began working in mining as a Pit Technician 28 years ago.
Suzan’s life experiences, including as a child growing up on the family farm and as a steel fabrication business owner, taught her the value of stepping up to a challenge, the satisfaction from a job well done, and that one person can have an impact.
“My hard-working parents taught me resilience and persistence in the face of a challenge,” Suzan said.
“I believe in working hard to get a job done well and rallying people to my cause. I like to engineer problems out, be innovative and use creative problem solving skills.”
Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Michael Parker congratulated Yvonne and Suzan on their win.
“These two women are outstanding individuals and a great example of what can be achieved with drive and determination; this is very deserving recognition,” Michael said.
“As a business we stand the best chance of attracting and retaining the best people by providing an environment where diversity of gender and thought is encouraged.
This remains a central component of our talent management and recruitment strategies.”
Alcoa’s Sharon Eyer was an exceptional finalist in the ‘Outstanding Woman in Resources’ category. Sharon is Alcoa’s Principal Research Scientist at Alcoa’s Refining Centre of Excellence.
“Congratulations to Sharon also as becoming a finalist is great recognition of her achievements and contribution to our industry, both in Australia and globally,” Michael said.
To find out more about careers at Alcoa visit www.alcoa.com.au/careers.
Media contact: Jane McGuire – 0410 694 676 / firstname.lastname@example.org
A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defence vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our approximately 59,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products.
For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.