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Wheels turning on gender equality in resources

WASM addresses the issue Josh Chiat kal Miner

Victoria Arrowsmith, Jenny Do, Anis McGowan, Rahel Dean-Pelikan, Sarah Pemberton, Boiketo Mazibeli and WASM director Sam Spearing will welcome 25 of the brightest female high schoolers in WA to Kalgoorlie-Boulder in September as the 115-year-old institution looks at how it can address gender inequality in the resources industry.

The Western Australian School of Mines is set to welcome 25 of the brightest Year 10 girls in the State to Kalgoorlie-Boulder in September as it builds on a promise to fight gender inequality in the mining industry at the front line.Based at the Goldfields Camp School from September 25-29, it will be the second time the Focus on Mining Camp — which has been run for more than a decade in various places around the State for Years 11 and 12 — has been run for Year 10s. Last year, 18 boys and seven girls attended the WA School of Mines campus, visiting mine sites owned by Northern Star Resources, BHP Nickel West’s Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter, Gold Fields’ St Ives operations and KCGM’s Super Pit. But women make up just 28 per cent of Australia’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related workforce. That falls to just 14 per cent in engineering-related technologies,
a figure which prompted Curtin University and WASM to make the camp for girls only this year, Curtin Geoscience Outreach Officer and camp organiser Tanya Croft said. “Many young women don’t take science and engineering-related courses in Years 11 and 12 as they perceive them as too difficult or just for boys,” she said. “It’s imperative we offer them the opportunity to feel comfortable in a male-dominated in- they can be empowered and make informed decisions about their future.”
Just 15 per cent of students at the WASM Kalgoorlie-Boulder campus are female, according to WASM director Professor Sam Spearing. He said the camp, which mirrored one held in Australia’s gold capital in 1992 for Year 10 girls from as far away as Port Hedland and Albany, would prove women could take on any role they wanted in the mining industry. “Part of our problem in the industry is until we get gender equality into the universities, we can’t
get gender equality into the mines,” he said. Applications are open until July 11 and can be completed at girls focus on mining  2017.eventbrite.com.au.