Kari Lentowicz hopes taking what is thought to be the world’s first all-female mine rescue team to a major competition in Russia will help demolish barriers in a male-dominated industry.
The seven-member group, nicknamed Diamonds in the Rough, is currently raising the $84,000 it needs to travel to Ekaterinburg for the 2018 iteration of the biennial International Mines Rescue Competition.
Lentowicz, who spent more than a decade working in Saskatchewan’s mining industry and has spoken previously about her struggles in a sector dominated by men, is serving as the Diamonds’ coach.
“We need to showcase that women can do this, not just provincially or nationally but internationally — that we are valuable competitors and this is a role that we can do on a day-to-day basis,” she said.
Mine rescue teams typically consist of employees who volunteer to learn the skills necessary to rescue colleagues trapped underground, battle fires in mine shafts and deal with any other emergencies.
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