2015 Women in Industry Awards Finalists: Mentor of the Year

The finalists for this year's Mentor of the Year award have been announced.

Ashlea Walley – VTEC Mentor/ DSG Program Coordinator, Wirrpanda Foundation

Ashlea Walley works as a mentor with the Wirrpanda Foundation in the Deadly Sista Girlz program and Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) which has seen her work with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families.

She has demonstrated her dedication to the young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women by supporting them through their training to secure sustainable long-term employment and create a positive relationship with employers for future jobseekers.

Walley participated in the Miss NAIDOC Perth 2014 Empowerment and Leadership Program which is a six week program to encourage and support young Aboriginal women as future leaders and role models in our community.  She was crowned the winner of Miss NAIDOC 2014 and has proved to be a worthy and inspirational winner.

As Miss NAIDOC Perth 2014, Walley is growing her leadership skills by nominating to be a member of the Miss NAIDOC Working Group which is overseeing the six week Miss NAIDOC Empowerment and Leadership program.

Walley will be a positive role model and mentor to the new entrants because of her previous experience and knowledge of the Leadership and Empowerment program.  She is the main point of contact for the Miss NAIDOC 2015 entrants and has shown initiative to contact the entrants and to make them feel welcome onto the program.

Christine Cotton – Regional General Manager, Tcyo Fire & Security

Christine Cotton is strong advocate for the development of Tyco’s people regardless of gender, however her real passion lies with ensuring the company’s female talent not only receive career development opportunities but also in assisting them balance the many demands of life in general.

Cotton has been instrumental in the establishment and ongoing development of Tyco’s Pacific Women’s Growth Network ensuring the program remains at the forefront of Tyco’s daily activities.  As a part of Cotton’s Women’s Growth Network initiative, she led the formation of what has now become known as the “bubble assignment” – an opportunity for a high potential female to step out of their normal role for a period of time (up to 90 days) and work on a dedicated project outside of their normal sphere of influence. This concept is spreading across Tyco globally and is something the company is planning to expand on to provide more safe-haven development opportunities.

In both her roles as the Regional General Manager WA and as the Pacific lead for the Women’s Growth Network, Cotton has played a pivotal role in the formation of Tyco’s mentoring program.  This program is open to both male and female staff alike and aims to partner mentees with senior members of staff from other areas of the organisation to provide a confidential forum for mentees to explore their career’s further and to seek advice on work assignments or issues.

Simon Bradwell – Managing Director, ebm-papst A&NZ Pty Ltd

Simon Bradwell was appointed Managing Director of ebm-papst A&NZ Pty Ltd in 2005, and with him the company’s management approach changed. Now the company has 66 per cent of the engineering team female and 50 per cent of the leadership team female whereas in 2005 all these roles were performed by men.

The current management has specifically employed women into the workplace and supported them with training and flexible working arrangements so that they can achieve career success and well as balance family life. Training has involved both leadership and personal development programs as well as technical training to ensure that female staff can achieve excellence in their field.

Ongoing mentoring of staff takes place in the form of small and large, but always consistent support activities, such as encouragement of females to speak up in meetings, assigning responsibility for new tasks, and always having an open ear.

Other activities that make Bradwell an exceptional mentor include the setting of ambitious stretch goals to develop new processes and products. For example, the company’s Projects and Design Engineer Alexandra was challenged with the goal to design and develop a whole new range of fans (AgriCool) for an entirely new market (agriculture). The AgriCool range was successfully launched in 2014 and is expected to increase the company’s turnover by up to 10 per cent.

Vanessa Sewell-Rosenberg – Talent & Organisation Development Manager, BOC

Vanessa Sewell-Rosenberg is the Talent and Organisation Development Manager at BOC South Pacific and has been a vital member of the Human Resources division for more than six years. She is responsible for the recruitment, development and retention of graduates and interns through the company's Graduate Development and Internship Programmes in Australia and New Zealand.

Sewell-Rosenberg has a passion for developing best-practice programs that have measurable outcomes and in 2013 was awarded a Green Belt certification in Six Sigma for a project that proposed best-practice approaches for vocational training and methods for achieving return on investment.

Her biggest career achievement has been transforming the way BOC recruits, develops and retains its graduates and interns.

When Sewell-Rosenberg took over BOC's Graduate Development Programme in 2011, a fresh approach was needed for recruiting and developing graduates. There were less females applying for graduate positions and this was reflected in the higher proportion of males recruited to the program.

The BOC Graduate Development Program adopts best-practice processes as a result of the initiatives Sewell-Rosenberg has implemented since 2011. The methodology has created a measurable 'link' to drive successful outcomes between recruitment, development, talent management and retention within the BOC business. It provides quantifiable data that integrates each graduate's contributions and capabilities to BOC's business objectives and plans.