New networking event seeks to empower women
More than 90 women attended the inaugural Pilbara Women’s After 5 Networking Event hosted by the Small Business Centre at Karratha Ibis Styles Hotel last Friday night.
The new initiative aims at supporting and empowering women who are working in the Pilbara through a series of valuable networking and professional development activities.
Local ladies heard from keynote speaker Sharon Warburton, 2014 Telstra Business Woman of the Year, non-executive FMG director and founder of online mentoring website Steel Heels.
Ms Warburton, a former Exmouth local, said she was passionate about improving diversity, pay equality and retention in the construction, mining and other male-dominated industries.
She said having a supportive network had been integral to the success she had achieved throughout her career.
“It’s important to me to share my stories and the courageous decisions I’ve made throughout my career, solely to help inspire others to chase their dreams,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have achieved what I did if it wasn’t for the sponsors and mentors I had, so I invest a lot of my own time mentoring others as it is such an important part of growing self-confidence.
“The whole mantra of my online mentoring website Steel Heels is supporting emerging leaders and showing other women that success comes from having courage and recognising the power of backing your abilities.”
The Business Centre Pilbara chief executive Paul Jagger hailed the first Women’s After 5 Networking Event a success.
“Looking closely at some of the feedback we have got over the years, it had become very clear there was a strong preference by our members to develop and run a dedicated networking event,” he said.
“The overarching aim was for attendees to not only have a really good time, but more importantly to make connections that might translate into new business opportunities.
“Sharon really stood out to us as a speaker ... she’s a local from Exmouth, working in the mining sector and is well and truly in tune with what’s going on in our region.
Mr Jagger said he looked forward to making the After 5 Networking an annual event on the business centre’s calendar.
The next Pilbara Women’s Network event will be a luncheon on November 10 in Karratha.
The Women’s After 5 Networking Event was sponsored by Chevron, the Pilbara Development Commission and Rio Tinto.
Sharon Warburton (centre) with Paul Jagger, Erin Dawson, Demelza Franklin, Eliza Carbines and Roman Raudonikais.