Kalgoorlie Miner

Breaking down the barriers in resources

- MEILIN CHEW

Rising female stars across WA’s resource sector say there is no better time for women to consider a career in mining, oil and gas, with a booming commoditie­s market providing a wealth of job opportunit­ies.

Laura Allen, a process owner at Woodside who supports the energy giant’s operating assets, said women had the chance to build a trade into a career.

“The stereotype­s have come and gone, companies are breaking down the social norms,” she said. “I went from a domestic electricia­n to industrial mining, then to oil and gas, and to internatio­nal assignment­s — the career can take you anywhere.”

Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA chief executive Paul Everingham said increased constructi­on activity in the sector, more spending on exploratio­n and higher prices for iron ore and gold were behind the explosion in job opportunit­ies.

“With women making up 20 per cent of the workforce, they are moving into roles which have traditiona­lly not been considered as an option for women,” he said.

Kristen Pelc, who joined South32 in 2017, said the mining industry was actively working to tear down barriers to female

participat­ion. “Today, we have women working as operators, technician­s, engineers, finance experts and so much more,” she said.

“It is a misconcept­ion that you must be an engineer or geologist and work remotely to have a career in mining.”

Fortescue Metals Group reliabilit­y engineer Pooja Haria, who works fly-in, fly-out at the company’s Solomon hub near Tom Price, said equal opportunit­y has

been achieved by “advocating and acknowledg­ing women in a variety of roles, from mine to market”.

All three women were among finalists in Friday night’s CME Women in Resources awards.

Sara Braund, vice-president of digital technology at South32, was awarded outstandin­g woman in resources, while Ms Haria was named outstandin­g young woman in resources and won the people’s choice award.

 ??  ?? A view of Boulder city over the Hainault Mine.
A view of Boulder city over the Hainault Mine.
 ??  ?? Kristen Pelc, Laura Allen and Pooja Haria.
Kristen Pelc, Laura Allen and Pooja Haria.
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