Love of variety - Janette Hewson

Posted June 1, 2015

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Janette Hewson picked up the award for most exceptional woman in Queensland resources at this year’s annual resources awards.

Janette Hewson began a career in law in 1995, but a taste of the mining and resources sector drove her to jump industries and never look back.

Twenty years on, and Ms Hewson is the Peabody Energy Australia, director, services, supply chain management.

Ms Hewson joined Peabody in 2007 and led internal legal and sustainable development teams before taking up her current role, which controls hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending on services for the company’s operations.

Ms Hewson described the career change from legal to commercial as one of her proudest professional moments.

“I got the taste for mining and resources and cut my teeth as a young lawyer dealing with coal mining and power stations. I think that’s when I got hooked,” Ms Hewson said.

“I love the variety of the industry,” she said.” “There are so many different facets of developing a project and operating a project. You never do the same work.”

A good leader was someone who could respect the ideas of others, and clearly communicate with their team, she said.

For Ms Hewson, this centred on developing strong relationships.

“When you’re in a corporate role in particular, you really have to develop relationships in order to influence outcome because it’s not like you have that line management approach to getting things done,” she said.

“Relationships really drive me and I encourage my team and the broader supply chain team to develop their own relationships.”

A love of change also means Ms Hewson has plans to continually re-invent herself throughout her career. She already has a keen interest in pursuing a position in operations.

“I still have a lot to learn so I’m keen to take on different roles to do that. One thing I’m very interested in is an operations role. I’m not sure what that would look like for me but I’m keen to explore what opportunities I’d have to do that,” she said.

“What I’ve learned the hard way is you have to back yourself and make opportunities for yourself.

“It’s OK to change and you don’t have to expect the same job as you have been doing since you left school.”

Ms Hewson was recently recognised as the ‘most exceptional woman in Queensland resources’ at the 10th annual Resources Awards for Women.

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