IN AN AUSTRALIAN first, a mentoring program for senior high school girls is expected to boost the number of women working in Queensland’s resources sector.
Tonight, 20 girls from Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) schools spread across Queensland will be at BHP's Brisbane headquarters to receive graduation certificates for the program, in which they were individually mentored by 20 women already working in the sector.
“The results of the program, launched on International Women’s day this year have been outstanding,” said Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane.
“All of the mentees said that their monthly coaching sessions were beneficial to their development. And, it was great to see that all 20 mentors said they also benefited from the program.
“I applaud the fantastic support we’ve had for this program from the Queensland Government and our industry sponsors namely, Glencore Coal, Anglo American, BHP, Evolution Mining, New Hope, Peabody, Idemitsu, Hastings Deering, BGC Contracting, MPC Kinetic and Qmetco Limited," he said.
“I’m sure they’ll be keeping tabs on the progress of these exceptional young women as they transition to further studies.
“I also acknowledge the role of Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) in the success of the program, with whom we work closely to improve the gender balance in our sector.
“This program is part of QRC’s plan to improve the sector’s gender balance, with the proportion of women now at 16.5 percent, up from just 6 percent in 2006," Mr Macfarlance said.
“The feedback received from the girls and their mentors speaks for itself,” said Platinum Sponsor Glencore Coal’s Anna Wendtman.
“If we are to increase the proportion of women working in our sector, it’s important to expose the next generation of women to the sector, and provide female role models,” Ms Wendtman said.
The QRC/WIMARQ Girls Mentoring Program aims to provide encouragement and mentoring support for year 12 girls intending to transition into education and training, for vocational and professional careers in the resources and related sectors.
The QMEA is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program. It has 60 schools throughout Queensland.
QRC is the peak representative body for Queensland‘s resources sector. The Queensland resources sector provides one in every five dollars in the Queensland economy, sustains one in eight Queensland jobs, and supports more than 15,400 businesses and community groups across the state, all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.