Rio Tinto, BHP’s female leaders on path to directorships with MCA

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has awarded scholarships to three women in the minerals industry to help them secure company board positions.

The $12,000 scholarships will be used toward completing the company directors course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

One of the scholarship winners, Katie Serjeantson, is currently superintendent for drill and blast at Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s Hope Downs 1 operations in Western Australia.

Serjeantson hopes to demonstrate the capability of diverse leadership in improving inclusion outcomes for the industry.

Principal-global technology strategy at BHP Nima Sherpa is the second winner. She hopes to participate as a younger board member and use the opportunity to inspire broader diversity and inclusion in the industry. Sherpa is also pursuing a PhD in outer space resources.

Bernadette Harris, the third scholarship recipient, is currently principal-Indigenous development at Rio Tinto. With over 20 years’ experience in mining, Harris hopes to use her scholarship to mentor and encourage Indigenous people to take on leadership and board positions in community organisations.

The scholarships are an MCA initiative to encourage more female participation on mining company boards.

The company directors course provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of the major challenges facing company directors in today’s business environment, as well as equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively undertake the duties of a company director.

Twenty women have received the scholarships and completed the course since 2013.

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