Meet Lilis champion for diversity and opportunity

Moving to Australia 10 years ago to embrace new opportunities and build her geotechnical engineering career, Lilis Sulistyani has never been one to turn away from new roles and commodities, with experience across coal, gold, and nickel.

Lilis started out with BHP works as a geotechnical engineer at our Nickel West Cliffs underground mine site and is now at our Mt Whaleback mine in the Pilbara. Lilis is a champion for gender and cultural diversity within the industry. She recently shared her experiences of overcoming gender related challenges with university students, at a Women in Engineering and Mathematical Sciences network event in Perth.

“During my time working in different countries, with different mining commodities, and meeting people from various cultural backgrounds, there were times where people doubted, judged, and challenged me because of my gender,” said Lilis.

“But these obstacles made my enthusiasm even stronger, to continue learning and prove that I am capable – as there are a many highly skilled and knowledgeable women who deserve an opportunity in mining.”

Lilis enjoys the dynamic nature of mining, it’s challenges and has worked in many different countries, including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia – bringing to her role agility, and a strong understanding of and appreciation for, different cultures and languages.  

She hopes to see the global gender gap in mining soon close and highlights the work BHP is leading in the inclusion and diversity space to our next generation of STEM professionals.    

“I want to say how fortunate I am working with BHP – a leading company that pushes for a more inclusive and diverse workforce, and appreciates cultural diversity,” Lilis said.

“BHP has set a gender equality goal, is accepting of different cultures and backgrounds, and the business accommodates for employees and their religious needs.”

“My managers are mindful that I practice my faith, and offer space and time for me to do so at work.”

Lilis’s words of advice to the students, is:

“Keep your focus on the goal and focus on the future. Don’t be afraid to speak up and let people know what you want, and always remember to be patient in difficult situations – because with hardship comes ease.”

Thank you Lilis for sharing your experiences and wisdom with others. We are lucky to have you in the BHP family!