September 04, 2013 - 4:51 PM
KAMLOOPS – It took about three years but an organization aimed at empowering women involved in the mining industry has finally found traction in Kamloops.
Nicole Trudell is the chair of Women in Mining Kamloops and says interest in the group has grown quickly. They established an executive of seven people before announcing the new chapter. Women in Mining has national and international chapters, and about 25 people have already contacted Trudell looking for more information or to sign up, with more people emailing her every day.
The group is for women who work directly in mining, with supply companies as well as people just interested in the industry. It's focused on helping women grow professionally and personally.
“It's definitely a team effort. We really want women to come together and empower each other,” Trudell says. “We want to help address some of challenges women face, to network, further education and skills.”
One of the things Trudell, who works for KGHM Ajax Mining Ltd., likes best about her chosen sector is the willingness to give back to the community. The B.C. chapters of the mining group take part in Run for the Cure and Trudell herself sits on the Mining for Miracles (for B.C. Children's Hospital.)
Vancouver, northern B.C. And Elk Valley also have Women in Mining groups and so far it looks like the Kamloops one might also gain membership from women in Vernon, Kelowna and Williams Lake.
Trudell notes the goal is to keep everything as cheap as possible, so while there is not a membership fee some events may require small fees to help offset the costs.
“We will probably have some events with small fees, but for the most part we want to make it available for everybody and anybody,” Trudell explains. “We'd like to keep it cost efficient and free as often as possible.”
She expects the first event will be towards the end of October though the group plans on attending the mining conference in Kamloops at the end of September.
Trudell also notes the group is not in place to help advocate the Ajax mine and says there are several different stances on the mine within the executive group.
In 2011 it was estimated only 16 per cent of those involved in the exploration and mining industry were women, compared to 47 per cent of all sectors. Trudell says the number of women in the industry continues to grow steadily, adding she heard women make up 25 per cent of the staff at Highland Valley Copper and that the company recently hired almost a dozen women haul truck drivers.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013