International Women’s Day last week saw women across Australia receive awards for outstanding work, including Karragullen local Sara Braund who was awarded the gong for the Outstanding Woman in Resources.
Ms Braund has been mentoring the next generation of women in the Resources Industry and IT sector to encourage them in an industry that’s typically male-dominated.
Beginning her career in Scotland, she studied mathematics and computer science at Aberdeen University as one of four females in a class of 100.
Receiving an opportunity to speak at a conference in Melbourne, she was nervous to accept but ultimately decided to.
“I don’t like public speaking and I have quite a big fear of aeroplanes,” she said.
“To help overcome those fears, I put myself up to speak at the conference which is how I got a job offer in Perth.”
Having been in Perth for 19 years, Ms Braund worked for Woodside where she became the first female Executive Information Officer.
“I did the technology fit out for the Woodside building in Perth and have spent a lot of time mentoring and encouraging females,” she said.
“A challenge I’ve had is that I prefer to voice my thoughts when it matters and I’m not the kind of person to take over meetings, whereas often men are.”
It’s important to Ms Braund that she sponsors and guides young women to teach them to understand what they need to do in the industry.
“As I look back over my career, there’s so many forums we have now, including the awards nights for women in resources, mentoring programs and scholarships.
“I think a lot of design goes into the policies that attract females and the opportunities and careers they can have.”
“There’s a lot going now to make it easier as a woman in male-dominant industry’s.”
Ms Braund said she was humbled to receive the Most Outstanding Woman in Resources at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy Women in Resources Awards.
“IT is one of those areas that doesn’t always get the recognition, as we’re the quiet people that just do what we need to do,” she said.
“It was completely unexpected. There was a huge calibre of women at the awards as well, so I felt very privileged and honoured to receive it.”