International Women’s Day: Perth Airport’s most senior female staff member piloting change for women in industry


Perth Airport, chief corporate services officer Debra Blaskett understands the value of inspiring women, ahead of International Women’s Day.
Perth Airport, chief corporate services officer Debra Blaskett understands the value of inspiring women, ahead of International Women’s Day.

AS the most senior female employee at Perth Airport, chief corporate services officer Debra Blaskett knows the value of inspiring other women to pursue their careers.

She sees herself as both a role model for other women and an example of the career path that others could follow.

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Mrs Blaskett’s career at Perth Airport started just over eight years ago before being appointed in her current role during October 2015, which means she oversees teams responsible for government relations and media, customer experience, risk, environment and occupational safety and health and corporate compliance.

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“As a leader it’s crucially important to be a positive role model, and I know that a lot of women, particularly younger women just entering the workforce, look to more senior women to understand how they can successfully navigate their workplace, so if I’m seen as a positive role model, helping other women, then I’m happy with that,” she said.

Other high ranking female employees at the organisation include Nicola Blackborrow, who is the airport operations manager and Natalie Verbickis, who is an operations officer.

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Mrs Blaskett said the organisation’s inclusive and non-discriminatory culture encouraged women to take opportunities.

“I’ve been treated with respect and in return I treat others with respect, regardless of their gender,” she said.

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Mrs Blaskett said it was important that the organisation’s chief executive Kevin Brown was part of the group CEOs for Gender Equality.

“The leadership team, and particularly the CEO, sets the culture of the business,” he said.

“If people see that the CEO is committed to gender equity it sends a message right through the organisation that we are committed to inclusiveness and non-discriminatory policies, and that anyone can succeed regardless of their gender, race, religion or background,” she said.

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