Tania Bookallil

Tania Bookallil – Finance Executive for Emerging and Established Markets

Inspired by leading women in the mining industry, Tania Bookallil balances innovation with ecological commitment.

What’s your story?

My story is a journey of continuous learning and growth. From my early beginnings in rural Australia to my financial career across the globe, I sought and continue to seek inspiration and challenge. My passion for finance is driven by my desire to be at the forefront of strategic decision-making, to use my financial acumen to drive sustainable value, and to help organizations grow, change, adapt, and thrive. I have had the immense privilege to lead diverse, multicultural teams to achieve transformational change alongside personal growth.

What excites you most about your industry?

The mining and metals industry is crucial to the energy transition. It supplies critical minerals like copper, cobalt, nickel, lithium, and rare earth elements, essential for clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and battery storage. The industry supports the development of green technologies and facilitates energy efficiency. The rising deployment of these technologies is set to significantly increase the demand for these minerals. However, sustainable and responsible mining practices to minimise environmental impact are rapidly evolving. In essence, a robust and sustainable mining industry is a key enabler of the energy transition. That’s exciting!

What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?

Driven by curiosity and a desire for continuous learning, I thrive on solving complex problems and finding innovative solutions. Stepping outside my comfort zone fuels my personal and professional growth. The impact of my work, its potential to change lives and advance my field, motivates me. Ultimately, I strive for excellence, refusing to settle for the status quo.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

In my global strategic finance career, I’ve honed key skills. Financial acumen, including understanding and strategically applying complex financial concepts, is crucial. Leadership involves decision-making, team guidance, and talent development. Communication skills enable me to articulate financial insights to non-financial stakeholders, simplifying complex data. Strategic thinking aligns financial goals with business strategy, considering the financial impact of decisions. A global perspective, understanding markets, economic trends, and cultural nuances, is invaluable. Continuous learning and adaptability navigate this dynamic field.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Embrace the journey of calculated risks. Mistakes are inevitable stepping stones, not setbacks. They’re affordable, fixable, and essential for growth. This mindset fosters a culture of “fast failure,” turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones towards success. It’s not about playing safe; it’s about playing smart.

Who inspires you?

Kathleen L. Quirk and Bronwyn Barnes are inspirational figures in the mining industry. Quirk, as the President and CFO of Freeport-McMoRan, demonstrates exceptional leadership and strategic financial acumen, serving as a powerful example for aspiring female leaders. Barnes, with her extensive experience in directorship, executive leadership, and operational roles, has successfully led international exploration and mining projects. Her recognition as an Outstanding Woman in Resources and induction into the Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame underscore her significant contributions. Both women exemplify dedication, business acumen, and commitment, inspiring women in the mining sector.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

Demand for minerals critical for the energy transition has doubled in the past five years. The delivery of critical minerals such as copper, lithium, and nickel is crucial to meeting global climate targets. However, some of the biggest challenges to the energy transition come in the form of critical mineral investment growth, ensuring supply chain security, navigating geopolitical volatilities, and increased regulatory complexity. The mining and metals sector is fueling the engine for the energy transition.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

Successful organizational transformation hinges on the early stages. Greater emphasis on aligning stakeholders, articulating benefits, and educating the team paves the way for smoother change. Remember, “Go slow to go fast.” Investing time upfront in these areas accelerates progress, reduces resistance, and fosters a supportive environment. This approach ensures everyone is on board, understands the journey, and sees the destination. It’s not just about change; it’s about growth, learning, and shared success.

How do you unwind?

Running is my sanctuary, my rhythmic dance with the road. The world fades, leaving only the steady beat of my heart and the unwinding of my thoughts. It’s my journey of self-discovery, a testament to my resilience. Running isn’t just exercise for me; it’s a celebration of my strength, a testament to my endurance. It’s my way of unwinding, my path to contentment. So, I keep running, I keep exploring, for the road is long, and the journey is mine.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?

Innovation doesn’t fail due to a lack of good ideas; it fails due to a lack of effective change management.

Everyone in business should read this book:

“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman is a beacon of wisdom for business leaders. It unravels the mysteries of decision-making, offering a deep understanding of our intuitive and logical minds. By shedding light on cognitive biases and heuristics, it equips leaders to navigate the labyrinth of irrational choices. The insights on loss aversion, overconfidence, and anchoring effects are invaluable for strategic decision-making. This book is not just a read but a journey into the human mind, making it an indispensable guide for leaders striving for excellence.

Shameless plug for your business or career:

As a strategic finance leader with global experience, I excel in spotting opportunities and building agile finance organizations. My 20+ years of multinational experience have honed my ability to lead international teams and create value through data-led strategies. I’ve successfully navigated complex issues, transformed businesses, and fostered talent. My expertise spans transformational finance, ESG, AI, Cultural Dynamics, and Leadership. I am ready to bring my financial acumen and leadership skills to a new challenge.

How can people connect with you?


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This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.

About The EnterpriseZone Writing Team

Shining A Light on the Small Business World and highlighting Entrepreneurial Investing Opportunities.

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