The primary goal of the MORE THAN Explorers campaign is to demonstrate the breadth and diversity of people working in and around the mineral exploration and mining industry. Highlighting the diverse roles women embody in the sector and unearthing the ‘hidden’ women working in vital support roles is one key aspect of the campaign.
Gender-balance is an ongoing challenge for the mining industry. Women representof the mining workforce and one of the major factors holding women back in the mining industry is the lack of women in senior leadership positions, resulting in fewer role models and mentors. It’s hard to be what you can’t see.
So, to celebrate, we are featuring photographs and stories of two women with quite different roles in the mineral exploration and mining industry, and two girls with an interest in STEM who we hope will enter a more balanced and inclusive workforce.
Stephany, in the photo above, is a helicopter pilot. For more than a decade she has worked on energy and mining projects across North America. In addition to transporting people and supplies, she slings heavy equipment, rock samples and various gear on a long line below her helicopter, which requires hours of training and incredible skill. When we interviewed her at Red Mountain in northern British Columbia last summer, she was the only active female pilot out of the 60 pilots working for her company. Between flying jobs, she lives in an RV with her husband, also a helicopter pilot, and together they travel around Canada and the USA at ground level.
Korah is a community specialist working at the New Afton gold mine near Kamloops in southern British Columbia, where she was born and raised and where she chooses to live and work and raise her family. She belongs to the Tk’emlúps First Nation. Kamloops is home. Her role at the mine is to connect with the local community and share the benefits of mining through events, sponsorship, donations, school and community programs and more. Korah and the team at New Gold work hard to maintain a positive relationship with the community.
O and I are friends who are both in Grade 2. Their favourite subject is math. O’s Mom is a geologist and supplied them each with high-visibility vests and a hand lens, to look at the minerals in rocks. We met these two at Discovery Day, an annual family-friendly event put on by the Association for Mineral Exploration in Vancouver to allow kids and their parents to learn more about rocks, minerals, mining, and exploration.