July 19, 2019

From welding to administration: smashing workplace stereotypes

Mark Cook Alcoa_rs
South Yunderup resident and Alcoa employee Mark Cook challenging stereotypes at the company’s Huntly Mine.

South Yunderup resident Mark Cook is challenging stereotypes in the workplace through his new role as an administration assistance at Alcoa’s Huntly Bauxite Mine, near Pinjarra.

A boilermaker by trade and with 25 years’ experience in IT, Mark is bringing a different perspective to a role traditionally held by women. Although the career change has come with a list of new challenges, facing discrimination is not one of them.

“Everyone from management, admin and right through to the workshop floor personnel have all been supportive and accepting of my decision to take on an administration role,” Mark said.

“I had an accident in a previous life that left me with permanent damage to my back which meant I had to seriously revisit my career aspirations. At the time IT seemed like the perfect fit and ended up being what lead me to work for Alcoa.”

Mark said because of Alcoa’s commitment to supporting diversity in the workplace, he felt safe pursuing roles that interested him regardless of the stereotypes associated with them.

"Although it is a change from my previous role and I may not seem like the obvious candidate, I see my IT background as a strength and it brings a different perspective to the team which is what Alcoa is all about.”

Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker and the Company was committed to making its workplace a model for inclusion, through flexible work practices and active campaigns to attract, promote and retain talent

This year, Alcoa was named an Australian Workplace Equality Index Silver Tier Employer by Pride in Diversity and received its 17th consecutive Employer of Choice citation from Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Mr Parker said a safe and inclusive workplace benefited companies and provided rewarding careers for individuals.

“If we want to stimulate new ideas and drive productivity at Alcoa, we need to bring together people who think differently from one another with diverse experience and backgrounds,” he said.

“My aim is for an inclusive workplace where we can have richer conversations, make better decisions, be safer, more productive and more competitive.” 

For more information on Alcoa training and employment opportunities visit www.alcoa.com




Media contacts

Cheri Tiglias, Corporate Affairs and Communications Advisor, 0450 393 651, cheri.tiglias@alcoa.com

About Alcoa

Alcoa (NYSE: AA) is a global industry leader in bauxite, alumina and aluminum products, with a strong portfolio of value-added cast and rolled products and substantial energy assets. Alcoa is built on a foundation of strong values and operating excellence dating back nearly 130 years to the world-changing discovery that made aluminum an affordable and vital part of modern life. Since developing the aluminum industry, and throughout our history, our talented employees have followed on with breakthrough innovations and best practices that have led to efficiency, safety, sustainability and stronger communities wherever we operate. Visit us online on www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.