A young female senior engineer who has been an inspiration to other women working in the resources sector is this year’s winner of the Queensland Resources Council’s Resources Awards for Women (RAW).
Melanie Gordon who is Senior Engineer Major Projects at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Goonyella Riverside Mine in Central Queensland, is the first woman appointed by BMA as project manager for a dragline shutdown.
The awards were presented by the Minister for Women, Margaret Keech, at the QRC’s annual International Women’s Day Breakfast in Brisbane.
Almost 500 people from throughout the state attended the event.
Melanie also received an outstanding achievement award in the inaugural Resources Awards for Women in 2006.
The awards are part of the QRC’s Women in Resources Action Plan (WRAP), which aims to encourage more women to work in the resources sector.
Currently women make up 11% of QRC members’ workforce and in non-traditional roles, the figure is 7%.
“With WRAP, we have set ourselves a target to increase the percentage of our female workforce in non-traditional roles to at least 12% by 2020,” said QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche.
“I know that Melanie will continue to be a great role model, mentor and ambassador for our industry, and through her example encourage more young women to enter the sector, and just as importantly, continue their careers with us.
“While we need to attract more women to our sector to ensure we have sufficient skilled workers for this expanding industry, the QRC also believes that women should have every opportunity to benefit from the fantastic opportunities available,” Michael said.
“I am extremely excited and honoured to be the recipient of the 2008 Resources Award for Women.
‘Women who have won this award previously have been an inspiration to me and to be recognised alongside them is a privilege.
“I would like to thank the Queensland Resources Council and WIMARQ for the award and for taking the initiative to promote networking and raising the profile of women in the resources industry.
“I would also like to thank my husband and family for supporting and encouraging me to succeed in my career. I hope that I will be a role model for other ladies in the resource industry and inspire them to reach for the stars.”
The Junior Resources Award for women was won by Mount Isa Year 12 student Frances Potter who hopes to become a mining engineer.
The Best Company Initiative Award went to coal seam gas producer Santos for its work/life balance initiative, which promotes flexibility in working arrangements.