ASI celebrates International Women's Day

ASI celebrates International Women's Day

ASI is a proud supporter of inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated. This is reflected in ASI’s workforce, where 50% of employees are women. This special International Women’s Day feature recognises the vital role women are playing in growing steel’s future. 

Improved pathways for women

Women are turning to steel as a career path, drawn by operational and social advances. “It’s an exciting, dynamic industry at the cutting edge of change,” according to Queensland chapter president of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and BlueScope Qld specification manager Sheree Taylor.

“Historical perceptions of the industry are changing: we have world-class safety standards, a culture of trust and respect and are investing in emerging, responsible steel technology,” Taylor said.

BlueScope’s promotion and profiling of steel jobs now focuses on gender-neutral attributes, including problem-solving, skills training, job security and career advancement. Success of the job program has seen a five-fold increase of women at an operational level since 2016 across BlueScope Australia. BlueScope is also a signatory to the HESTA 40:40 Vision initiative which seeks to achieve gender balance in executive leadership across all ASX200 companies by 2030.

Taylor said one of the keys to attracting more women into manufacturing and steel is at the school level. ‘’It is fantastic to see careers advice at schools now increasingly showcase the exciting opportunities for women in manufacturing – across both trade, operator and professional roles. However, there is still more to do to support women into these careers so they can add to the industry and reap the benefits of secure employment and a fulfilling career.’’

Sheree Taylor
BlueScope Steel

Women in steel: a snapshot

Aurecon’s chief operating officer Louise Adams has received the Excellence in Engineering award in the high-profile Women in Industry Awards in recognition of her contribution to industry. Louise is chair of the Champions of Change Consult Australia Group, where she has helped co-create inclusive cultures, increase women in leadership, and eliminate the like for like pay gap.

Louise Adams
Aurecon Australasia

Maria Mavrikos is the fabricator business owner of Victoria-based steel fabrication business Structural Challenge and is a true leader in the steel industry through her work for the company and on the ASI board.

Maria Mavrikos
Structural Challenge Pty Ltd

Tania Archibald is BlueScope’s new chief executive for Australian steel products. Tania has a strong track record across BlueScope’s Australia/New Zealand, Asia and corporate functions. More recently, she was instrumental in deploying BlueScope’s financial strength into major growth projects across the group. 

Tania Archibald
BlueScope Limited

Samantha Krollig of Bowhill Engineering is an active member of the South Australia Steel Industry Reference Group (under the SA Department for Education and ASI) and passionate about promoting careers in steel fabrication and diversity. Bowhill Engineering actively works to employ women in its business.

Samantha Krollig
Bowhill Engineering

Director of wire manufacturing company Protective Fencing Samantha Swain is chair of the ASI Diversity and Inclusiveness Group. A fourth-generation member of Protective Fencing’s owners the Gibbens family, Samantha and brother James have joined father Craig in bringing their knowledge and experience to the business.

Samantha Swain
Protective Fencing

Executive assistant at Southern Steel Group Julie Hinchcliffe has worked for the company for more than 18 years and is an invaluable contributor to the ASI.

Julie Hinchcliffe
Southern Steel Group

Sarah Orlando works in the knowledge and information centre at one of ASI’s large professional members Aurecon Group and is constantly in communication with ASI Information Manager Rebecca Rouse and ASI Membership about all things ASI and how Aurecon staff can benefit from ASI membership.

Sarah Orlando
Aurecon Australasia

A proud First Nations woman with ancestral ties to the Kalkatungu people of the Mt Isa region, Leisa Wahlin has run steel branches and sales and marketing for InfraBuild. Now employed in her own marketing business, Leisa continues to work with InfraBuild, BlueScope Building Components, Bisalloy Steel and Greater West Steel Traders.

Leisa Wahlin
NEON Marketing

Officer manager for Jasmat in Kewdale, Western Australia Annette Melling ensures smooth operation of Jasmat’s purpose-built, 4000 sqm manufacturing facility centrally located 12km from Perth city centre. Jasmat is a supplier, fabricator and erector of quality, fabricated steel components and structures for the industrial commercial and multi-level high-rise steel industries.

Annette Melling
Jasmat Steel Fabrications

ASI company secretary Christine Nicholls said IWD was a time for businesses to look beyond equity in terms of equal pay to considering what makes women different in the workplace and how that can translate to equity in a practical way.