Joanne Best is working for flexible workplaces and in doing so won an award for Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources.
Joanne Best is working for flexible workplaces and in doing so won an award for Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources.

Drive for flexible workplaces lands award

JOANNE Best has been championed for her efforts to make workplaces flexible with an Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources Award.

Born in Bundaberg, Ms Best has been working for 20 years in the resource sector and took home a $32,000 professional development scholarship at the awards held by Queensland Resources Council and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland.

Ms Best said that in a former workplace she was the first person to ask to work part-time in a senior role.

“I wanted to be successful, I wanted a family, I wanted to work part-time and still be thought of as career focused and professional – my criteria and working values were not going to change – the workforce had to change with me,” Ms Best said.

“I would say to my bosses, ‘let’s agree to the results and the timeframes and let me worry about the work configuration’.

“My biggest challenge continued to be getting bosses to value my talent, contribution, results and career aspirations when I didn’t want to work full-time.”

While working for Hastings Deering Ms Best said she developed a program to drive flexibility, diversity and inclusion in the workplace called Together as One, on which she also delivered a TED Talk.

“I have naturally started to shift from how do I not just do this for myself, but how do I do it for others,” Ms Best said.

“So I am doing it for others in an individual way, through mentoring, through one-on-one relationships with my team and with my peers, and now through formal programs with Hastings Deering through our Together as One flexibility and inclusion approach,” she said.

Ms Best’s drive to create the program at Hastings Deering came from being chastised in a previous workplace for only working part-time.

“In the mid part of my career, I had to hide the fact I worked part-time,” Ms Best said.

“The culture in that organisation was that I wasn’t serious if I didn’t work full time.

“I could convince my boss, but not so easy the rest of the organisation.”