Samantha Espley will never forget her first day when she joined Falconbridge Limited not long after obtaining an engineering degree from the University of Toronto in 1988. “It was a sea of men,” she recalled, during her breakfast address Friday at the Steelworkers Hall on Brady Street to celebrate International Women’s Day. “I was so shocked. Over the years, I felt self-righteous. ‘How come there’s not enough women?’
“But over my 30 years, I realized there’s no women in the pipeline. There’s no females to draw from. There’s no women for the big companies to hire coming out of the schools and trade schools.”
Espley is the current director of Mining Technology & Innovation for Vale Base Metals, leading a team of highly specialized engineers and scientists providing technical support to Vale’s operating mines and projects in Canada, Brazil, New Caledonia and Indonesia.
Over her more than 30 years in the mining industry, she has worked at Denison, Dome, Falconbridge, Noranda, Inco and Vale, and held roles in the technical, operations and management levels in mining and mineral processing.
Espley is also the incoming president-elect of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. More than 225 people, the vast majority women, attended the event, which was organized by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce.
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