GIRLS Mentoring

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Female leaders of today are empowering the next generation of women on an exciting pathway to a career in Queensland’s resources and energy sector.

The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) tonight launched its 2023 Girls In Resources Leadership Skills (GIRLS) Mentoring Program in Brisbane, now in its fifth year.

Created by QMEA and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ), this program connects female students in their final year of high school with experienced women in the resources sector. These knowledgeable industry representatives guide their mentees on potential career paths while helping them build essential professional and life skills.

Since its inception in 2019, the GIRLS Mentoring Program has seen an impressive year-on-year increase in applications, and this year, 20 Year 12 students from QMEA-associated schools across Queensland have been selected to participate in this unique initiative.

QMEA Director, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said over the coming six months, this cohort of bright, enthusiastic students will work one-on-one with industry mentors to build their confidence and lasting relationships, and gain insights into the diverse range of career pathways available in the minerals and energy industry.

“This program is all about assisting young women in navigating their journey through their final year of school whilst showing the variety of exciting roles and professions available in the minerals and energy industry,” Ms Jones said.

“Tomorrow, mentees will attend the Queensland Resources Council (QRC)/WIMARQ International Women’s Day and Resources Awards for Women event in Brisbane, which recognizes the contribution of women to the resources sector, with females now making up 21.7% of the workforce – a 456% increase since 2015-16.”

Welcoming the 2023 cohort of mentors and mentees at the launch event tonight, Head of Production Integration at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Ms Heather Bell said the GIRLS Mentoring Program supports BMA’s vision and commitment to inclusion and diversity.

“Women now represent more than a third of BHP’s workforce and for the third year in a row, women have outnumbered men in BMA’s apprentice intake,” she said.

“We are determined to achieve gender balance that better reflects the broader community. Initiatives such as this help encourage more women into the resources sector.

“We know inclusive and diverse teams are safer and more productive, because people in these teams feel safe to speak up, share their ideas and different points of view, and work together to solve problems and make better decisions.

“BMA is proud to be the Platinum sponsor for this year’s GIRLS Mentoring Program, and we have several passionate employees from a range of backgrounds and technical disciples, who will guide their mentees through professional development activities, and help them identify future study or training options.”

Students from St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School, St Hilda’s School, Everton Park State High School, Bundamba State College, San Sisto College, Glenala State High School, Kawana Waters State College, Dysart State High School, Moranbah State High School, Emerald State High School, Pioneer State High School, Rockhampton Girls Grammar School, The Cathedral College in Rockhampton, Redeemer Lutheran College in Biloela, St John’s Catholic School in Roma, Tec-NQ, and Good Shepherd Catholic College are participating in this year’s GIRLS Mentoring Program.

This program would not be possible without the generous support of our industry sponsors, including: BMA (Platinum), ConocoPhillips (Gold), Coronado Global Resources and Rio Tinto (Silver), Fitzroy Coal Management (Bronze), Idemitsu Australia (Bronze), Jellinbah Group (Bronze), and South32 (Bronze).

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools initiative, the QMEA seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of career opportunities in resources.

The academy encourages a talent pipeline of employees into vocational and professional careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 90 schools and is a partnership between industry and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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