A program to help women develop their careers in Queensland’s resources sector begins in Brisbane tomorrow (Wednesday).
The Women in Resources Mentoring Program will be officially launched tomorrow night by BHP Billiton (BHPB) Asset President Rag Udd and Leanne Enoch MP, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business, who will be representing the Premier.
Most of the 40 participants, from throughout Queensland, will meet their mentors at the event. They will come from as far afield as Mount Isa and the Central Queensland coal fields.
BHPB is a foundation partner for the program, which will continue through to 2019. The company has also provided scholarships to facilitate participation by a women in rural or remote regions, indigenous women and new graduates. The Queensland Government has also provided scholarships for indigenous, regional and young women.
The program is an initiative of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and voluntary group Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) and follows a successful pilot program, which concluded last year and was funded through a state government grant.
‘The mentoring program is an outstanding opportunity for women in our sector to be connected with a high-level mentor to help them achieve their career goals,’ said QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche.
‘Mentoring is a key strategy to helping women progress their careers in our resources sector,’ said Mr Roche.
‘Since 2006, QRC members have been striving to even up the gender balance in our sector through our Women in Resources Action Plan, which has seen the proportion of women in non-traditional roles such as engineering, trades, geology and senior management increase from 6 percent in 2006 to 13.3 percent in 2014-15.’
‘I thank our member companies who have supported the program both with mentors and funding and in particular foundation sponsors BHP Billiton, as well as the Queensland Government.
‘I also thank bronze sponsors Idemitsu and Glencore as well as scholarship sponsors Rio Tinto, Glencore, Idemitsu and Senex Energy.’
Mr Udd says he has no doubt that the mentoring program will help more of our women into the executive suite, based on the high calibre male and female mentors who have volunteered for the program.
‘A workforce with people from diverse backgrounds, including a better gender balance, is critical to supplying the workforce of the future,’ he said.
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