Events, Workforce

Awards honour outstanding women achievers

Rail Express has partnered with Australian Mining, PACE, Manufacturers’ Monthly, MHD Supply Chain Solutions, Prime Mover, Trailer, Waste Management Review, Roads & Infrastructure Australia and Australian Bulk Handling Review to acknowledge the exceptional women who have achieved success through their invaluable leadership, innovation and commitment to their respective fields. 

The Women in Industry Awards honour outstanding women from the industrials sector – those who work in mining, road transport, manufacturing, engineering, logistics, bulk handling, waste management, rail and infrastructure. 

This is an opportunity to recognise the women who are driving change in the industry and, in doing so, breaking down barriers and creating new possibilities for the next generation. 

2021 Women in Industry Ambassador, Rachael Ashfield, said women brought alternative viewpoints and experiences to a business which often fosters creativity and change.  

“Yet the career pathway for women can be quite challenging, especially in an industry that is not highly represented by women,” she said.  

“The Women in Industry Awards highlight key aspects and career defining moments of  many years of success and dedication.” 

The 2021 finalists include: 

Social Leader of the Year

Anne Williams – Plant Operations Manager Rail, John Holland

Anne Williams is changing the face of rail in Western Australia while also implementing cultural changes to develop and maintain a more diverse and inclusive workforce.  

She has been in the John Holland company for more than 22 years and is excelling in her current role as the Plant Operations Manager.  

Her self-belief and resilience have been a driving motivation for her ongoing commitment to creating pathways and making it easier for others to work within the industry.  

Williams’ active involvement in the industry and the wider community is how she became aware of the Clontarf Foundation and its mission. Further, her passion for providing apprenticeship programs and opportunities for young people and new entrants are resulting in powerful and meaningful change across the industry. 

Excellence in Transport

Catherine Baxter – Chief Operating Officer, Metro Trains

Catherine Baxter is the Chief Operating Officer at Metro Trains Melbourne and is responsible for safely operating metropolitan passengers’ services, on-time and cost effective.  

This past 12-plus months, under her leadership, MTM has rolled out some rail transport industry-driving firsts and much innovation to drive continuous improvement.  

She inspires her leadership team to perform at the highest possible level, pushing her direct reports to not only achieve the franchise targets set by the State, but ensures that it demonstrates the Metro company values.  

Baxter has been an important role model for other women in and outside of the industry, giving motivation to other women who aspire to achieve great things in transport. 

Kirstyn Glass – Rail Operations Consultant, Trapeze Group Asia Pacific

Kirstyn Glass has worked with Trapeze Group since 2019 to present, providing subject matter advice on rail technology to both transport authorities and operators within Australia and overseas.  

She has used her operational knowledge and experience to enable Trapeze to gain a greater understanding of the rail industry, and the challenges faced by our clients.  

With her many years of experience, she has been played a major role in designing new features and functionality within their system.  

Since joining Trapeze Group, Kirstyn has been an advocate for women in rail.  

Having successfully worked in the rail industry for a lengthy time, she understands how rewarding it can be, and the challenges that women face. Increasing diversity by including more women in the industry will bring benefits across the board. 

Industry Advocacy Award

Jo Sainsbury – Director, Kickass Women

Jo Sainsbury drives women to succeed and has spent the past eight years learning, developing, and growing in her role and to strive for change.  

She supports and inspires other women to consider a career or career change and to pursue roles within these diverse industries.  

She has been a strong drive in introducing a campaign that will launch in August called ‘The Future is Female.’

Sainsbury is the loud and proud creator and founder of Kickass Women, which is building a distinctive role in the rail, mining, resource, STEM and construction industries.  

She is using her voice via public speaking and social media to promote positive career success and career pathway outcomes for women and younger women.

Registration details:

For more information, visit:

The winners will be announced at a presentation event on
Thursday, 7 April, at the Arts Centre, Melbourne.