Women working in Western Australia’s resources sector were recognised today at the inaugural Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) of Western Australia Women in Resources Awards breakfast in Perth.
Sabina Shugg was named the 2010 Women in Resources Champion, for significant contributions to the industry, particularly through her establishment of the Women in Mining and Resources Network in WA (WIMWA).
“Through a lot of hard work and sourcing many sponsorship arrangements, Sabina has kept the network membership free, also maximising its impact across the resources industry,” said CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith.
“Currently 1050 females within the resources sector have joined WIMWA, designed to support women in the mining and energy sectors.”
One of the events organised by Sabina was the inaugural WIMWA conference in September last year, where more than 250 women were provided with support strategies and general education about the resources sector. Young women from several Perth high schools were also invited to attend the conference and several expressed interest in working in the mining industry as a consequence.
“With skills shortages highly likely in the future due to anticipated sustained growth, it is people like Sabina who lead by example and encourage West Australian women to either take this as their career path or give encouragement to women currently within the mining and energy sectors,” said Mr Howard-Smith.
Erica Smyth was awarded the Women in Resources Lifetime Achievement Award. With more than 30 years experience in the mineral and petroleum industries, Erica has made significant achievements and milestones for women in the resources sector.
Erica was the first female accepted into the McGill University to undertake an Applied Masters Degree after operating for 25 years; the first woman to be appointed a principal geologist with BHP Minerals 1982, and the first woman to be appointed Chair of the Pilbara Development Commission in 2003.
Erica also co-produced the “Red Dust in Her Veins- Women of the Pilbara” book. The book was very well received around Australia and internationally, endorsing women in and around the resources industry.
Woodside Energy Limited took out an award for its initiative in the area of company innovation.
Mr Howard-Smith said Woodside had demonstrated excellence in its flexible work and support initiatives and is leading the way in the Australian Exploration and production industry in terms of its percentage of women in the workforce.
“Woodside Energy is also breaking new ground in this area in terms of the industry average, the Western Australian resources sector average and internationally,” Mr Howard-Smith said.
“Woodside has achieved a 30 per cent increase in the number of women returning from maternity leave, the number of female graduates has increased by more than 90 per cent and women working in part time positions has increased by more than half.”
“Currently, women account for just 18 per cent of the resource sector workforce, compared to a national labour force figure of 45 per cent. With initiatives led by companies such as Woodside Energy we can see these figures increase.”
For further information about CME Women in Resources Awards please go to www.cmewa.com
Source: Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA
Photo credit: Women in Mining