BHP cost cutter an award-winner
A Pilbara woman who has made her name in the land of iron is looking regal after an ore-some win at the 2015 Telstra Western Australia Business Women’s Awards last week.
Jessica Barber won the corporate and private award after being recognised by judges for her work with iron ore giant BHP Billiton.
Ms Barber began work in the region in 2009 as a principal mining engineer after moving from Canada.
She soon became the superintendent of drill, blast, and development at Mt Whaleback near Newman, before becoming the first woman mining manager at the same mine in 2011 at age 29. The position was responsible for more than 350 employees and 250 contractors on-site.
She was also the mine manager at $300 million Mining Area C, which opened in 2003, where she looked after more than 600 employees.
Ms Barber’s management skills have been in full focus since she was chosen to be part of a team within BHP to find cost savings in a weakening iron ore market.
The work of the team led to a cost reduction of 29 per cent of recurrent costs at Mining Area C while production continued to increase.
Awards judges felt Ms Barber had been able to increase the company’s focus on cost without compromising the safety of workers.
Ms Barber is now in the running for the national finals of the Business Women’s Awards, which will be held in Melbourne on November 18.
Other winners on the night included Perth businesswoman Angie Paskevicious, who won the overall category for WA, Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Dr April Armstrong who runs a 5000 patient-strong practice, City of Kwinana chief executive Joanne Abbiss, Phyllis Narula, who runs nine childcare centres in Perth, and Kim Tran of La Belle Peau Skincare Clinic, who won the young women in business category.
Jessica Barber won the corporate and private award at the Telstra Western Australia Business Women’s Awards.