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HomeMediaMedia releasesMedia Releases 2013Top operator encourages other women to take on the big machines - Queensland Resources Council

Top operator encourages other women to take on the big machines

8 March 2013

Myf Szepanowski, Production Supervisor at Anglo American's Callide mine has won this year's Operator category in the Queensland Resouces Council's Resources Awards for Women.

Myf, the only woman production supervisor on site among 22 males is also a member of the mines rescue team and has received a Queensland Flood and Cyclone Citation following her support for the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service in the 2013 floods.

Myf actively promotes the resource sector and its opportunities to women both within the sector and to those enquiring on whether they should apply for the first time.

'I am encouraged to see more women involved in the production area,' said Myf.

'Women on site are hard-working, capable, and adaptable and see the resources sector as a promising, long-term career choice.

'I enjoy supporting and encouraging women to increase their skills and I am an example of a woman having a challenging career while having a family at home.

The operator award aims to encourage women working in these roles, where women are significantly under represented, and to recognise their achievements.

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, is 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.

'While the proportion of operators remained steady at 9 percent, women like Myf provide the key to boosting the number of women taking up these careers.

'It's particularly pleasing however 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.

The QRC also released its latest statistics on gender diversity in the resources sector. For the full details click the link below.

Full list of winners:

Overall
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)

Trade
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)

Operator
Winner: Myf Szepanowski Anglo American Callide Mine (Boundary Hill)
Runer 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