[Mining Women Who Rock] Hard Hats & High Heels leaves a lasting impression (Northern Miner – June 10, 2015)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry.

Innovative. Inspiring. Fun. That’s what the Hard Hats & High Heels fashion show and panel presentation was all about. Organized by Women Who Rock (WWR) and the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA), the cross-sector collaboration featured Judith & Charles’s chic pieces and Alicia Woods’ Covergalls, all modeled by women working in mining.

Shortly before the models graced the runway in front of 300 attendees at the Art Gallery of Ontario on June 8, The Northern Miner’s publisher Anthony Vaccaro moderated a panel on how women working in the field and new graduates can dress for success. Panelists included Fashion Magazine’s contributing fashion editor George Antonopoulos, Holt Renfrew’s vice president of exclusive services Lisa Tant, Kinross Gold’s senior vice president of human resources Gina Jardine, and one of PwC Canada’s partners Marelize Konig.

WWR’s president and founder Elena Mayer notes dress code is something that isn’t being discussed often but vital in corporate settings. “For many — especially taking into consideration it is a male-dominated industry— they think it is a frivolous topic. But us women are tightly connected with the way we dress and self-confidence is connected to that,” she says.

The idea for Hard Hats & High Heels arose when Mayer met CAFA’s founding director Brittney Kuczynski at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in March. The women, both working in mining, with Mayer as a senior client relationship manager for PwC Canada’s mining group, and Kuczynski, on Paradigm Capital’s institutional equity sales team, combined their passions for mining and fashion to create a dynamic platform that allowed women in mining to learn about opportunities in Canadian fashion and Canadian designers to promote their work.

“We are all about business development and getting Canadian labels and growing that awareness among a very coveted group of young professionals and executive level women,” Kuczynski says of CAFA’s mandate. She notes these women are the inspiration behind many of the designers’ collections. “They are women that are of great substance, are fearless, and do have a lot of confidence. And they need to dress so their wardrobe is evocative of that.”

PDAC’s executive director Andrew Cheatle, one of the initiative’s many supporters, said he loved the idea when he first heard it. “It’s important to celebrate our diversities and to show that. And I think we should have fun as well.”

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.northernminer.com/news/hard-hats-high-heels-leaves-a-lasting-impression/1003669193/