Laura Finlayson

Inclusion and Diversity Specialist (Technology)


A year ago Laura was on parental leave for 2 and a half years from her previous role at a major WA University. In that time, she’d had two children, so the idea of returning to work at a new employer with a 7-month-old and a 1.5-year-old was very daunting.

"My biggest concern was finding the right life-work balance as I was worried that my intensive drive to succeed in my professional career would very quickly result in burnout as I attempted to juggle my new role as a mother at home also."

Laura says her onboarding experience at BHP was incredibly supportive, with her direct report recognising the importance of allowing her to return to a flexible working arrangement.

"I was offered regular check-ins and mentoring, along with a very supportive team environment that allowed me a safe space to ask for help and direction when required. This ‘open-arm’ support has been pivotal in my success at BHP so far."

In her role, Laura works within Technology at BHP, delivering internal programs as directed largely by the Inclusion and Diversity Committee. She works across several teams to deliver a range of short- and long-term projects relating to employee experience and education with responsibilities including project delivery and coordination, program writing and development and outcome analysis.

"Every day in my role is different, however, I’m always focused on the user experience and ensuring that BHP continues to be an amazing place to work."

Delivering programs that educate, upskill, and motivate employees Laura has worked on several important projects including the Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Training for leaders and, Inclusion Habits and Career Accelerator training for high potential employees. More recently, she’s been involved in the development of a Diversity Program at BHP supporting 150+ women to enter the mining industry of which Laura is the Technology Lead and responsible for delivering the program design.

"It’s a very exciting project that I am proud to be part of. I enjoy working with people to enhance their day-to-day working experience and this role gives me great flexibility to do so. I’m motivated daily by the great feedback I receive on the work that I deliver, both from my supportive line leader and from my broader team. At BHP there are so many opportunities to advance your career and I’ve been lucky enough to work across a range of teams and be exposed to many aspects of the business. In doing so I’ve built an extensive internal network and I’m using this discover professional interests within the business."

Outside of work Laura is an avid sewing enthusiast, having descended from a line of dressmakers and tailors.

"My grandmother once held the position of embroidering the royal crest on official robes for the Queen of England! When I have a rare moment to myself, I enjoy channelling my creative energy in garment design and construction. Living in such a fast-paced world, it’s incredibly satisfying to be slowed by the concentration needed to complete a garment."

It’s clear that having flexibility in her role helps Laura achieve at work and have time for family and passion projects like sewing, with her team having always supported her flexible working arrangement.

"On commencement I was able to negotiate a 3-day working week with flexible start/finish business hours to suit childcare arrangements. Six months into my contract, I was then able to open up a conversation and renegotiate an increase to a 4-day working week. My line leader has always had a focus on performance and project outcomes rather than working hours, so I am given autonomy to manage my time accordingly. This has been of huge benefit to maintaining a work life balance. Currently, all non-essential BHP employees are working from home, so along with flexible ways of working, regular team check-ins and a great collaboration culture has become our current normal."