AN engineer with Leighton Contractors has won the 2011 Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Resources Award for Women.
Heather Parry (pictured) is project manager on the $157 million Dawson North Mine Project in Central Queensland.
Parry describes the award as ‘overwhelming’ after seeing the high-calibre of entrants in her category.
“Winning the award is still sinking in, but it’s a huge honour that really marks the journey of what I’ve been doing for the past 16 years and it reaffirms the way in which I’ve gone about building my career,” she says.
“There is, at times, a perception that women shouldn’t be doing the job I’m doing or that it can be harder for women to get ahead in the mining industry, but I’ve chosen to ignore that perception and just get on with the job.
“It’s also something I love doing and it suits me to work in Central Queensland as opposed to the city because I’m an endurance rider in my spare time, so this environment is perfect for that.”
QRC chief executive Michael Roche says awards aim to improve the attraction and retention of women in the resources sector in Queensland and to make young women aware of resources career opportunities.
“Over the next five to 10 years, we have to find tens of thousands of people to support the expansion of our industry in Queensland, so it’s vital that we encourage women, who are still significantly under-represented in our ranks to enter and remain in our sector,” he says.
“Though female participation in Queensland has risen from about 8 per cent to 15 per cent since 2006, participation in areas including operators, trades, engineers, geologists and senior management is still just under 11 per cent.
“While this means we have almost reached the 2020 target we set in 2006 to double to 12 per cent the proportion of women in non-traditional roles, we won’t rest on our laurels.”
QRC is aiming to reach an employment target of 20 per cent women by 2020.
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