Prime Minister Julia Gillard will meet with up to 200 women from the resource sector in central Queensland on Friday.
She will be the guest of honor at the Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) networking event held in Moranbah in central Queensland.
WIMRQ was established to provide a supportive network for women working in fields where the gender is usually underrepresented.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Michael Roche said the event provides the opportunity for women to hear Gillard’s thoughts on excelling in ‘non-traditional’ jobs and allows the Prime Minister to hear from women who are making roads to do so.
“Every day, women working in Queensland’s resource sector are excelling and forging their place in roles where women are underrepresented,” Roche said.
“As the first female Prime Minister of Australia, I’m sure Ms Gillard will be able to relate to women breaking new ground in their field.
Among the attendees at the event are previous winners of QRC’s Resources Awards for Women (RAW), including BMA’s Jennifer McKenzie and Melanie Gordon, as well as Simone Forbes from Anglo American.
The Queensland mining and resource sector in the state are actively moving towards encouraging more women into male-dominated roles and industries.
“QRC member companies have recently adopted a new target of 20 per cent women working in ‘non-traditional’ roles such as engineering, trades, operators and senior management by 2020,” Roche said.
“This followed our 2009-10 gender diversity survey of QTC members, which showed that we’d already almost reached out initial target of 12 per cent by 2012.”
Roche said women form an important part of the mining industry, which will only become more important as the need for workers reaches record levels.
“With the skills shortage, and the industry needing tens of thousands more skilled people over the next five years, we can’t afford to miss out on the talents of women.”
The event is supported by QRC. BMA, Macarthur Coal, Anglo American, Leighton Contractors and Thiess.
There are only limited tickets left, which can be purchased on QRC’s website, www.qrc.org.au.