OMA NEWS RELEASE: Let’s look at Canadian mining’s all-star female team

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The achievements and leadership qualities of 15 women working in the Canadian mining sector have been acknowledged through the Women in Mining U.K. launch of the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining Project. Its goal is to recognize and promote the significant impact of females in the mineral industry.

“WIM (UK) has collaborated with WIM groups all over the world in order to reflect a broad cross-section of global industry talent in the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining Project,” said Amanda Van Dyke, Chair of WIM (UK). “From engineers and geologists, to finance professionals and investors, each woman has been selected because of the lasting impact she makes on those around her as a positive role model and her contribution to the industry.”

“WIM (UK) congratulates each of these women and is pleased to celebrate their efforts to make the mining industry a more inviting and viable option for working women of different backgrounds,” she added. “Each woman contributes to the mining industry in her own meaningful way as endorsed by their nomination.”

So who are these Canadian mining female superstars? The names and job titles show a wide range of high profile jobs within the sector. In order to avoid the tyranny of the alphabet, we will list the names in reverse alphabetical order.

Zoe Yujnovich, President and CEO of the Iron Ore Company of Canada and the first female chair of the Mining Association of Canada; Eira Thomas, President and CEO of Kaminak Gold and justifiably nicknamed the “Queen of Diamonds;” JoAnne Nelson, senior mineral geologist; Laura Mottola, President and CEO of mining consultancy firm Flow Partners Inc.; Deborah McCombe, President and CEO of the engineering firm Roscoe Postle Associates;

Catherine Mcleod-Seltzer, Chairman Pacific Rim Mining; Jennifer Hooper, Global Director Health and Safety for Vale Canada; Louise Grondin, Senior Vice President Environment and Sustainable Development for Agnico Eagle Mines; Samantha Espley, General Manager Mines and Mills Technical Services for Vale Canada; Heather Ednie, Managing Director for Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group Canada;

Dominique Dionne, Vice President Strategic Affairs and Communications for the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec; Patricia Dillon, Director Employee Communications and Engagement for Teck and past president of both the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Mining; Jacynthe Cote, Chief Executive Rio Tinto Alcan; Maryse Belanger, Senior Vice President Technical Services for Goldcorp; and, Lyn Anglin, manager of geoscience research projects for the Geological Survey of Canada and Geoscience B.C.

This is an impressive list of mining industry stars. This project to identify leading women role models in the industry, which was sponsored by the Standard Bank, was a collaborative effort among international Women in Mining groups in Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Everyone in the industry knows about the high number of new workers the mining sector needs in the next decade. The 2016 to 2023 hiring projections are estimated to be as high as 145,000 people in Canada by the Mining Industry Human Resource Council.

The good news is that from 1996 to 2012, female participation in the mining industry increased by 60%. The less than sterling news is that lifts female participation to 16% of mineral sector employees.

Women in Mining are on the right track. Females are the largest underrepresented group in the sector. We need more females to follow in the footsteps of the 100 Global (and 15 Canadian) Inspirational Women in Mining.

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