QUT alumna, Gabrielle Iwanow was recently recognised for her outstanding leadership in the 2020 Telstra Business Women’s Awards, winning the Medium and Large Business award for South Australia.
Since completing a Bachelor of Business at QUT in 2000, Gabrielle has worked across the globe in the United Kingdom, China, India and Australia where she held commercial, engagement and operational roles for Rio Tinto. Now as General Manager – Prominent Hill at Oz Minerals, Gabrielle is responsible for all onsite mining, processing and associated infrastructure at the Prominent Hill copper-gold underground operations, including oversight of a new power line construction project.
We recently asked Gabrielle to share some of her experiences since graduating and her best career advice for business graduates.
How has your business degree equipped you for a career in the resource industry?
Studying business at QUT equipped me early on with an understanding of business fundamentals. It gave me the knowledge to understand different perspectives and the opportunity to develop my critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. These skills have stood me well over the course of my career. Running a mine is essentially like any other business, and ultimately business is about leadership and people.
The Telstra Business Women’s Award recognises women who are changing the world of business for the better. How has the landscape changed for women in business and what are your hopes for the next generation of female leaders?
I am grateful to be able to make a difference in the lives of the people I work with. It gives me a sense of achievement to see them succeed and grow. There seems to be much more awareness and open discussion nowadays about issues of bias and barriers to participation certainly since the time I entered the workforce, which is only a good thing. The first step in being able to change something is to recognise there is an opportunity! I have been inspired by the role models in my life who have taught me to deliver results, to speak up and who have supported me to succeed. In turn, it is rewarding to be able to mentor, coach and support others. I hope for the next generation, there are more women and other diverse leaders who hold senior roles, so that it is the ‘norm’ rather than the exception and helps to foster more diversity of thought. Madeleine Albright said, “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”. We must pull together and pull each other up.
What advice would you give to students and recent graduates starting out in their business careers?
Be open to learning, it is a life-long pursuit. And do not ever forget the importance of values and maintaining personal integrity.
QUT Business School alumni, Gabrielle Iwanow.
QUT Business School
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