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The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) launched its 2022 Girls In Resources Life Skills (GIRLS) Mentoring Program in Brisbane last night.
Created in 2019, this program is the brainchild of the QRC’s Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ).
The GIRLS Mentoring Program has seen a year-on-year increase in applications from female high school students since it first launched, connecting knowledgeable women in the resources industry with young females wanting to know more about the possibilities that await them in the sector.
Twenty Year 12 students from QMEA-associated schools across Queensland have been selected to participate in the program, which matches students with individual industry mentors to help build their confidence and personal skills and guide future career decisions.
Mentees also attended yesterday’s QRC/WIMARQ International Women’s Day and Resources Awards for Women event in Brisbane, which is the industry’s premier annual event to recognise the contribution of women to the resources sector.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity Katrina-Lee Jones said mentees will meet regularly with their female mentors, who work within various specialties in the resources sector, over the next six months.
“Mentees will be guided through the development of networking and time management skills and given an insight into the career opportunities available for young people,” she said.
“We want to show young women the types of rewarding and prosperous career opportunities on offer in the minerals and energy industry, particularly the diversity of roles and professions that exist and are becoming more available to women”.
“Our GIRLS Mentoring Program helps the next generation build lasting and valuable relationships, providing young girls with their own industry guide who can help answer any questions they might have about their future”.
“This opportunity would not be possible without the generous support from our platinum sponsor Rio Tinto, and the contributions from BHP, Coronado Curragh, Idemitsu and South32.”
Welcoming this year’s GIRLS program launch, Rio Tinto’s General Manager – Operational Excellence and WIMARQ Co-Chair Sally Rayner said mentors provide valuable guidance to mentees during their last year at school to help them identify future study or training options.
“At Rio Tinto, equity is intrinsically linked to our commitment to inclusion and diversity. We are dedicated to improving our culture and workplaces by empowering the women in our workforce today and inspiring the next generation while continuing to drive towards equal representation and pay,” she said.
“This program is important not only for our company but for the future of the resources sector, which is working hard to improve diversity in its workforce.”
As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools training initiative, QMEA programs and experiences broaden student and teacher knowledge of the resources sector. The academy’s purpose is to encourage a talent pipeline of employees into vocational and professional careers, with a strong focus on female and Indigenous student participation. The QMEA engages with 90 schools throughout Queensland and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.
Program sponsor details: Rio Tinto (Platinum), BHP (Gold), Coronado Curragh (Flying Start), Idemitsu (Bronze) and South32 (Bronze).