Women In Industry Awards: Spotlight on ABB’s Catherine King

Catherine King, country health, safety and environment manager, ABB, snagged the Safety Advocacy Award

She has a glowing reference – including many nominations and awards for her contributions to safety in heavy industry.

However, receiving the Safety Advocacy Award sponsored by BOC – in the category’s debut year at the Women in Industry award ceremony, held in Melbourne – was an “all-time career” high for Catherine King.

“Receiving this prestigious award in the company of Australia’s finest female talent is extremely humbling,” said King, ABB Australia’s Country Health, Safety and Environment manager.

“Within our organisation, we have a strong and diverse programme for women – not only in leadership but across the board.

“A lot of investment goes into giving female employees recognition for their work and in terms of progression – not only in Australia but across the entire group at ABB.

Her passion, focus and tenacity were among many attributes, which prompted her peers to put her forward for the accolade.

Within a period when the downturn in heavy manufacturing in Australia has posed considerable challenges for health and safety professionals in the sector, King has driven a safety message, “Zero Harm – it’s up to me” across the ABB group.

She is recognised for advocating ‘tone up at the top’ leadership, which involves co-facilitated workshops, presentations and campaigns with all levels of management at ABB.

“Let us continue to lift up our organisations with passion, zeal and loads of care and watch that approach drive employee engagement, retention rates, business results and more importantly, make our people feel safe.”

She has also shown creativity in her campaigns for safety, vigilance in managing critical risk and engineered a safety reporting culture within the group – welcoming business leaders, sportspeople and actual victims of workplace accidents to the workplace to tell their motivational stories.

“During a four-year term with ABB, I believe I have achieved some very strong results with a focus on developing a ‘zero harm’ safety culture,” King continued.

“I knew that this was the first year that safety advocacy was included in this award ceremony and it was a great compliment to find out that the managing director had chosen to put me forward.”

Alongside the event’s other finalists, King said she marvelled at the diversity of talent right across the board.

Sponsored by ABB, County human resources manager Beverly Stacey was also on hand to present the award for Business Development Manager of the Year, which was won by Shelley Hyslop, major account manager at Atom.

“As a company, we are always delighted to support an event where women are recognised for their contributions to their industry,” Stacey said.

“It is really important that companies continue to come together to celebrate women in industry and in business.

“If we didn’t do this, we wouldn’t have so many fantastic resources in our workforce.

“To be recognised as leaders and role models in their field, not only by industry but by their peers is an amazing and inspiring achievement.

“A true example of how ABB drives diversity and inclusion. These awards are a small step towards a bigger picture in Australia.”