Meet the resource sector’s $2bn woman

 

Ashleigh Turner has gone from personal assistant to a young executive in charge of a $2b budget in the space of a few years.

Ms Turner, 29, who handles procurement for mining equipment firm Hastings Deering, has saved her company millions of dollars in the past few years after simplifying how everything from industrial gloves to safety helmets was purchased.

Her achievements were recognised last week when she was presented with the Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources Award from the Queensland Resources Council and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland. Ms Turner was transferred to Hastings Deering's Brisbane headquarters four years ago after joining the firm in Darwin.

"The job has really been life changing," said Ms Turner, who said she moved to Brisbane to escape an abusive relationship.

"You don't wake up one day and decide you want to be a procurement manager but I find it challenging."

Ashleigh Turner manages a $2bn procurement budget.
Ashleigh Turner manages a $2bn procurement budget.

Mr Turner simplified Hastings Deering's complex procurement system by consolidating 700 different vendors into one supplier.

"We used to buy 700 different styles of gloves, but I brought that down to five," she said. "The new system saved a million dollars in the first year."

Ms Turner paid tribute to Hastings Deering for giving her life direction during a difficult period in her life.

"Hastings helped me get out of Darwin and the toxic relationship I was in," she said. "I also was fortunate to have several male leaders in the company who have empowered me."

Outside of work, Ms Turner, who is a mother of a young son, helps domestic violence survivors through a podcast 'Empower with Ash' and free digital books. The site attracts thousands of listeners each month and supports more than 17,000 followers on Instagram.

"Something that I'm really passionate about is empowering people to overcome their adversities," she said. "I'm a mentor to another female employee here at Hastings Deering and I have coached and mentored her to overcome her own adversities."

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the awards played an important role in the sector's bid to improve gender diversity.

"By profiling, the achievements of women like Ashleigh, we provide ambassadors and role models to encourage girls and women to consider one of the many skilled and highly paid careers available in resources," Mr Macfarlane said. He added there had been a 25 per cent increase in the number of women employed in the sector in 2019/20.

QUEENSLAND WOMEN IN RESOURCES AWARDS

Exceptional Woman in Resources - Maryann Wipaki

Maryann Wipaki is general manager of health, safety, environment and community for Glencore Metals, based in Mount Isa.

Exceptional Young Woman in Resources - Ashleigh Turner

Ashleigh Turner is procurement manager at Hastings Deering, based in Brisbane, where she manages an annual $2 billion budget.

Exceptional Woman in Technological Innovation - Sharna Glover

Sharna is co-founder and CEO, Imvelo.ai, Brisbane.

Exceptional Trade/Technician/Operator - Ange Daley

Ange is an exploration & blast hole driller, trainer & assessor with Thiess in Dysart.

Gender Diversity Champion in Resources - Liz Hansen

Liz is the culture and inclusions manager at Anglo American in Brisbane.

Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance - TransCoal, Brisbane

Exceptional Female QMEA Student - Caitlin Boothby

Caitlin is a student at Biloela State High School in Biloela.

Originally published as Meet the resource sector's $2bn woman


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