Min­ing po­ten­tial

Seminar be­ing held on at­tract­ing women to the min­er­als sec­tor

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - BUSINESS - BY KRYSTA COL­BOURNE

Corona Col­lege is host­ing a one­day seminar next month aimed at get­ting more women work­ing in the min­ing in­dus­try.

Min­ing and min­eral ex­plo­ration com­pa­nies in New­found­land and Labrador have gen­er­ated about 6,000 high-pay­ing jobs.

“We are bring­ing in women’s or­ga­ni­za­tions, gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in­dus­try,” said Ber­nice Walker, pres­i­dent and CEO of Corona Col­lege.

“And what we want to do is to be able to iden­tify how we can elim­i­nate the bar­ri­ers and chal­lenges that women have and to as­sist them in terms of en­ter­ing this sec­tor.”

Walker said women are not al­ways aware of the op­por­tu­ni­ties in the in­dus­try.

“With this type of seminar and to bring the key stake­hold­ers to­gether, it’s re­ally an op­por­tu­nity for us to be able to iden­tify those chal­lenges that’s pre­vent­ing them from en­ter­ing this sec­tor.”

Walker said she be­lieves the big­gest chal­lenge is mak­ing women aware of the fact they are ac­cepted in the in­dus­try.

“The em­ploy­ers, the part­ners that we have, they are so sup­port­ive of hir­ing women,” she said.

“With­out hav­ing in­dus­try on board, it would be fu­tile to do this. We’re so for­tu­nate. In our ra­dius of where we sit in this col­lege, we have three ac­tive mines.”

She said Teck, Ram­bler Metal and Mines and Beaver Brook have all hired grad­u­ates from Corona Col­lege’s min­ing pro­gram.

The seminar is ti­tled Em­pow­er­ing Women 2011.

“What we want to do is be able to give that kind of op­por­tu­nity for our women here in New­found­land and Labrador,” Walker said.

“A story that comes to my mind is one of our re­cruiters hap­pened to be in Baie Verte at a gro­cery store. One of the women that we had trained, a grad­u­ate, came up to her with tears in her eyes and hugged her and said, ‘You changed my life.’ She was a sin­gle mom. She said, ‘Now I am able to go in and buy the things for my daugh­ter with­out hav­ing to look at the price tag, won­der­ing if I can af­ford it.’”

Guest speak­ers and pan­el­lists at the seminar in­clude Sen­a­tor Ethel Cochrane; Su­san Sullivan, min­is­ter of in­dus­try, trade and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment; MaryAnn Mi­hy­chuk, chair­woman of Women in Min­ing Canada; Me­lanie Sturk, di­rec­tor of at­trac­tion, re­ten­tion and tran­si­tion with the Min­ing In­dus­try Hu­man Re­sources Coun­cil; and Karen Walsh, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Of­fice to Ad­vance Women Ap­pren­tices.

The seminar is be­ing held June 8, be­gin­ning at 8:30 a.m., at the Mount Pey­ton Ho­tel in Grand Falls-Wind­sor.

— Photo by Krysta Col­bourne/The Ad­ver­tiser

Ber­nice Walker, pres­i­dent and CEO of Corona Col­lege. June 8, Corona Col­lege will host a seminar ti­tled Em­pow­er­ing Women 2011 in the hopes of at­tract­ing more women to the min­ing sec­tor.

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