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HomeMediaMedia releasesMedia Releases 2013Practical response to increasing female numbers in resources sector earns Xstrata top award - Queensland Resources Council

Practical response to increasing female numbers in resources sector earns Xstrata top award

8 March 2013

Xstrata Mount Isa Mines' strategies for increasing the number of women in its workforce has earned the company the prestigious Best Company Initiative category in the annual Queensland Resources Council Resources Awards for Women.

This category recognises companies who have put in place and maintained strategies that enhance the attraction and retention of women in the resources sector, particularly where women are under represented.

Xstrata Mount Isa Mines champions careers for women through a successful combination of mentoring, leadership development programs and supportive working practices and policies that encourage women to use their own talent, allowing them to reap the rewards of their real, earned successes.

The company says one of the biggest obstacles for Xstrata's female employees is the lack of childcare in Mount Isa.

To overcome this, the company invested $270,000 in 2012 through a partnership with the Mary Mackillop Childcare Centre to fund training to boost the number of qualified childcare services in Mount Isa.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche says the awards, which lift the profile of women in the minerals and energy sector and provide a cohort of female industry ambassadors, are part of the QRC's plan to increase the proportion of women in 'non-traditional' roles in the resources sector to 20 percent by 2020.

'The good news is that the most recent survey of QRC members shows that we are on track to reach our target,' said Mr Roche.

'Our 2011-12 survey shows that women make up just under 12 percent of 'non-traditional' roles, such as engineers, geologists, trades, operators and senior management, up from 11 percent the previous year.

'The proportion of women across all occupations is 14 percent, up from 13 percent in 2010-11.

'It's particularly pleasing to see that the proportion of women in trades increased from two to three percent, though obviously there is still a long way to go in this area.

'It's also pleasing to see a one percent increase in female senior managers to 14 percent.

While our statistics continue to trend upwards, we know that we need to keep a sharp focus on measures to ensure that the resources sector is attractive to women, and provides a working environment that encourages them to stay.'

The awards were presented today by the Assistant Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Lisa France, QRC President Stephen Dumble and Chair of Women in Mining and Resources Queensland Jules Blunt.

QRC also released its latest statistics on gender diversity in the sector. For the full report, click the link below.

Full list of winners:

Winner: Heather Bell Rio Tinto Coal Australia (Brisbane)
Runner up: Andrea Rutley Anglo American (Brisbane)

Rising Star
Winner: Lucya Yunus Xstrata Copper (Mount Isa)
Runner Up: Kate Brand (Brisbane)

Winner: Tamara Bellinger Xstrata Copper (Mount Isa)
Highly Commended: Karla Draper Thiess (Inglewood); Nikita Mason BMA (Moranbah); Sandii Rixon BHP Billiton (Poitrel Mine/Brisbane FIFO)

Winner: Myf Szepanowski Anglo American Callide Mine (Boundary Hill)
Runner up: Elisha Wesser BMA (Mount Julian)

Gender Diversity Champion
Joint Winners: Rebecca Capper Anglo American (Brisbane); Tash Fee TNT Training Solutions (Calliope)

Best Company Initiative
Winner: Xstrata Mount Isa Mines
Highly Commended: Parsons Brinkerhoff

Further information and photos: Caroline Morrissey 0417 770 893

Winning Women - Leading Practice Principles for the Attraction nd Retention of Women in the Minerals and Energy Sector. Seventh edition March 2013