For her delivery of a no-cost online mentoring service, Natasha Cann has received the 2014 Women in Industry Award for Mentor of the Year Award.
Ten years ago Cann began actively working towards her goal of encouraging more women to flourish in the mining industry by developing a free mentoring service via Skype and face-to-face.
As a fourth generation miner with FIFO supervisory experience in South Australian and Western Australian mines, Cann was well-placed to offer her know-how to women working within the sector.
In 2013, Cann decided to formalise her work and created two confidential services: Mining Mums and Mining Mentors.
Mining Mums aims to support women who work in the mining industry and raising a family. Cann said she is aiming to change the perception that mining and motherhood don’t mix.
Cann said Mining Mums is centred around commitment, contribution and collaboration and offers women an environment where they can encourage each other to succeed.
Mining Mentors is offered to all women working in the sector and aims to identify opportunities to develop their skills and progress their careers by using proven goal-oriented techniques.
Both programs foster talent by giving women working in the mining sector an avenue for open and honest communication.
All the services are offered online and feature mining news, insights, and a place where women can connect and share their stories.
Cann also speaks at industry events to promote the benefits that the mining industry has to offer women.
She said often receives calls or emails from women asking for advice, or wanting to take a make a step-change in their careers.
“In 2012, mentee “L” was looking for the right direction for career and family,” Cann explained.
“Being a train driver in a remote mining town in the Pilbara and with three boys under seven, L’s focus for her next career move was work flexibility and the opportunity to add value.
“In our frank discussions we mapped out roles to take L beyond her comfort zone, including promotional positions with great potential for skills growth and learning.
Cann said empowering and coaching women is her proudest achievement.
The judges said Cann was an outstanding candidate who is leading the charge and making a tangible difference.
“The reward for Natasha is not in money, but in successful results for woman in this industry.
“She clearly touches women’s’ lives in a productive and positive way to empower them to thrive and achieve their own personal goals.”
Cann said it felt amazing to win two awards as she took out the Social Leader Award earlier in the night.
Cann said giving someone in need five minutes of your time was not hard and that mentoring was key to ensuring success in any industry.
“I am passionate about helping people,” she said.