A conference in Saskatoon today is mining the talents of women working in the natural resources industry.
Mine Your Potential was created to provide career development and networking opportunities for women working in the mining industry. The event featured workshops that covered areas from mentorship to coaching to how to lead with courage.
The first-year event is hosted by the Women in Mining and Women in Nuclear Saskatchewan Inc. (WIM/WiN). The organization was created to give personal and professional development for women working in the fields of minerals, mining, nuclear and radiation.
'It's a great industry to work in'
Nancy Komperdo, a geologist with BHP Billiton, worked in Newfoundland nickel and diamond mines before moving to Saskatoon.
"[Women are] actually only about 13 to 14 per cent of the workforce in the mining industry and that's really unfortunate because women are very talented obviously and it's a great industry to work in," she said. "We're in need of skilled
'We're not doing well enough to explain that there's an opportunity.'- MaryAnn Mihychuk, keynote speaker
labour from all walks of life and I think that might be the biggest roadblock right now. People are just unaware of the opportunities that are presented here."
Keynote speaker MaryAnn Mihychuk, a former Manitoba MLA, said that more needs to be done to inform women that the industry offers many career opportunities.
"It's difficult to go into a place where you might feel challenged or uncomfortable," she said. "The statistics in universities had shown a continuous improvement and increase in women in hard sciences. In engineering and geology, for example, there's a trend for a drop off, so we're not doing well enough to explain that there's an opportunity."