New net­work­ing event seeks to em­power women

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

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.

Pic­ture: Court­ney Fowler

Sharon War­bur­ton (cen­tre) with Paul Jag­ger, Erin Daw­son, Demelza Franklin, El­iza Car­bines and Ro­man Raudonikais.

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