CQ woman recognised as one of the best in the industry
A TWENTY-year resources sector veteran, who paved the way for job-sharing in senior roles, has topped this year's Queensland Resources Awards for Women.
General manager of enterprise excellence and employee experience at Hastings Deering Jo Best was presented with her award as Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources at the Royal National Convention Centre in Brisbane.
Married to former Rockhampton man Steve Best, Mrs Best completed her MBA at CQUniversity and says she was a frequent visitor to Central Queensland, whether it be visiting the in-laws or for work.
Mrs Best took home a $32,000 professional development scholarship awarded by the Australian Institute of Management.
The mother of three boys worked part-time for 17 years while leading major projects and teams on operational sites and in corporate offices.
"I wanted to be successful, I wanted a family, I wanted to work part-time and still be thought of as career focussed and professional," she said. "My criteria and working values were not going to change - the workforce had to change with me.
"I would say to my bosses, 'let's agree to the results and the timeframes and let me worry about the work configuration'.
"My biggest challenge continued to be getting bosses to value my talent, contribution, results and career aspirations when I didn't want to work full-time."
With a previous employer, she was the first person to negotiate a job-share arrangement in a senior role, which led the way for others to better manage career and family commitments.
"In the mid part of my career, I had to hide the fact I worked part-time," Mrs Best said.
"The culture in that organisation was that I wasn't serious, if I didn't work full time.
"I could convince my boss, but not so easy the rest of the organisation.
"I was harassed at work and missed out on career opportunities because of my flexible work arrangements.
"I even had one senior woman tell me to stop wasting my time and to choose between a career and being a parent."
While at Hastings Deering, Mrs Best developed a program to drive flexibility, diversity and inclusion in the workplace called Together as One.
Hastings Deering recently won the Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance award for Mrs Best's Together as One initiative.
"I have naturally started to shift from how do I not just do this for myself, but how do I do it for others in an individual way, through mentoring," she said.