Megan Ewing is a Pharmacist who made a career change into continuous improvement at BHP after having kids – finding the mining giant to be more supportive of families than her pharmacy career and opening up a world of opportunities for her!
Megan is a BOS Line Technical Specialist. We didn’t know what that was either! BOS is the BHP Operating System, which is all about ways of working. Her role is essentially to make sure things are running as efficiently as possible.
Working closely with stakeholders, Megan helps design, build, test and deploy practical solutions to improve work methods.
“I facilitate problem solving sessions with the frontline to identify the root cause of problems, work out solutions collaboratively and explore opportunities to unlock value through the BOS.”
“We have a team of 25, that coach leaders within the business on the program, so the people closest to the work are bringing forward the ideas and improvement opportunities.”
Flipping the juggle
Since leaving university, Megan had worked as a pharmacist but found it to be very restrictive once she had children.
“Legally you can’t have a pharmacy open without a pharmacist onsite, so there would be no opportunity to work from home. I had days of working the whole day with a sick baby strapped to me because there were no other pharmacists.”
She was never expecting to work in mining, but at BHP she says family comes first. With two small boys, Megan can’t imagine a better place to raise children than remote Newman, WA.
“We originally came here for three months, 11 years ago. We’ve decided to stay because it’s the most phenomenal place to raise a family. The kids can play cricket in the street and ride their bikes to school. It takes us two minutes to get anywhere. It’s a very easy, safe, relaxed lifestyle.”
Newman has two primary and one high schools, early childhood support and activities, playgrounds and a truly supportive network. BHP offers 18 weeks of parental leave at full pay if you are the primary caregiver within the first two years. Megan sees more and more fathers taking time off when their children are born.
“For the first time ever, it’s so amazing to see dad’s start to take parental leave and have that time with the kids, which isn’t something I’ve ever seen in another industry. It’s so good to see the men saying they’re off on paternity leave.”
Opportunities for the future and transferable skills
BHP is a huge organization, the sky is the limit and developing their people is part of their business strategy. Managers are encouraged to ask their team where they want to go, and support them to reach their goals. They also offer secondments, giving people the opportunity to test out a new role without giving up their existing job.
For Megan, she didn’t realize how transferrable her skills were until she looked into working at BHP.
“It didn’t take long for me to feel really at home and like I’d been there for years. I don’t have to pretend I know the intricacies of getting the dirt out of the ground because that’s not my role. They’re really focusing on transferable skills, which creates a really diverse employee profile for the business.”
We asked Megan her top career tips , and she shared:
- Be open minded. “It was really important that I took my blinkers off. I’d worked in health my entire career and thought I had to work in health unless I went back and retrained. Once I started to look at my attributes alongside my tangible skills, it was very apparent that [I could work in] big business and continuous improvement.”
- Be brave. “Don’t be afraid. I was really nervous about going into a male dominated industry. I felt very nervous about the transition from health. That’s almost laughable now, it was just my ignorance. It wasn’t ever an actual problem – my perception had got in the way of reality.”
- Believe in your value. “Understand that the company is looking for diverse people. They’re not looking for 25 years of mining experience all the time. They do understand the value that you bring if you come with a completely different mindset and set of experiences.”
“If you’d told me five years ago I’d be working for a mining company I would have laughed at you. I gave it a crack and I just love it. Honestly, I can’t see myself going outside of BHP; it’s such a wonderful company and I have the opportunity for growth and flexibility with the kids.”
“BHP is one of the best that you could work for. If I can help sway somebody enough to just put in an application that would be enough for me.”
For more information on finding your career path at BHP and how to get there, like Megan, visit: The recruitment process | BHP