Innovation to STEM from more women in resources

A new partnership between the Victorian Government and AusIMM will assist science savvy women to become resource industry leaders.

The Prospects Partnership focuses on retaining women working in the resources sector who have science and technical backgrounds. The partnership is part of State of Discovery, the government’s Minerals Resources Strategy, which was released in 2018.

The initiative includes the Women on Boards scholarship, which is aiming to boost the number of women with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) knowledge sitting on mining and resources boards.

While the number of women on boards within the resources sector is increasing, women with technical industry skills remain rare commodities. The Women on Boards scholarship will improve the careers of three women currently working in the resources sector with STEM expertise.

As Mandalay Resources’ most experienced and qualified engineer in the Costerfield Tech Services team and the only female, Caroline Dunning understands the value of having women with technical experience on mining and resources boards.

“It’s important to have people with technical experience on boards because the devil is often in the detail. Operational risks, uncertainties and opportunities need to be understood in order to best prepare for both the downside and upside of any plan,” she said.

The Women on Boards scholarship addresses the operational risks faced by decision makers by boosting the number of women with technical knowledge sitting on sector boards and making it easier for women with these skills to contribute to company decision-making.

“Diversity is an incredible asset to any decision-making group, as different people thinking different ways means that questions can be asked that would never be thought of if everyone thought the same.”

Caroline says that thinking differently helps boards to and seize opportunities that others don’t see, providing the company with a competitive advantage.

“This scholarship will make it easier for boards to have diversity, by making the pool of diverse candidates with the relevant skills and training larger.”

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