A workplace flexibility champion in the male-dominated construction and mining sector has been named the 2014 Telstra Western Australian Business Woman of the Year.
Sharon Warburton, Executive Director Strategy at leading global construction contractor Brookfield Multiplex and a Non-Executive Director since 2013 at Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), also won the Private & Corporate Sector Award at the 20th Telstra Western Australian Business Women’s Awards at Crown Perth tonight. […]
Training as a chartered accountant while working at KPMG, Sharon Warburton moved into the mining and property sectors, thriving in cross-cultural leadership roles in multi-nationals from a young age. At 25, she was the Financial Controller at Hammersley Iron (now Rio Tinto Iron Ore) before assuming a Group Analyst role for Rio Tinto in London.
Her roles after that included mergers and acquisitions management for the then Multiplex Group and strategy experience for Aldar Properties in Abu Dhabi, before returning to Perth and her current role at Brookfield Multiplex in 2011.
A self-confessed ‘reverted workaholic’, Ms Warburton says: “Workplace flexibility is not new. What is unique about Brookfield Multiplex’s approach is its individual rather than one size fits all approach.
“I encourage my teams to think about how they can work flexibly to enhance their well-being and motivation and I aim to give people as much autonomy and flexibility as they want and can manage.
“My philosophy is to create a work environment that stimulates ideas, promotes the value and benefits of team work, is built on the ongoing development of all individuals and is fun.”
Ms Warburton is actively involved in mentoring young women and men through Brookfield Multiplex’s Emerging Leaders program, Women in Mining WA and the Association of Women in Operations. She added: “Construction is no longer just a man’s world. Diversity can, and will lead to better outcomes. I am committed to helping improve the female participation and retention rates in mining and construction.”
Ms McKenzie said the Telstra Awards judges described Ms Warburton as a mentor to dozens of people of both genders and praised her support of women progressing in an industry that is exceptionally male-dominated.
“Sharon wears many hats. She juggles motherhood with her senior executive role and directorships of a listed company and a not-for-profit. Her leadership style is one of building the team to empower them to lead.”
The WA winners proceed to the national finals in Melbourne on 26 November. For finalists and winners across Australia the awards offer a share in $650,000 in cash and prizes.
More information on the Telstra Business Women’s Awards can be found at www.womensawards.com