Mentoring success for women in resources

Posted December 16, 2015

Lana Van Wyk

(Queensland-based Lana Van Wyk is one of the mentors in a program designed to promote the career development of women in resource industries)


The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) has reached the participation milestone of 200 female mentees placed in a program that was launched three years ago to support the career development of women in the mining, oil and gas sectors.

Working as an engineer with Technip based in Western Australia A, Catherine Bruneton found benefit from gaining a mentor outside of her working group, allowing her to broaden her network and learn about other areas of the industry.

“As I was a recent graduate with only one year of work experience at the start of the program, my main goals were to gain confidence, develop myself and my skill set and learn more about where I would like to take my career,” Ms Bruneton says.

Also finding value in the program, Ms Bruneton’s mentor, Queensland-based Lana Van Wyk has a background in engineering and now works as a business analysis manager with Dyno Nobel.

“I thoroughly enjoyed sharing some of my experiences and perspectives. It also forced me to reflect on how I manage people in my own teams and my contributions to the workplace,” Ms Van Wyk says.

AWRA spokesperson, Tara Diamond, says the milestone is a positive achievement for an industry needing to increase its gender diversity.

“The resource industry workforce comprises just 16 per cent women, compared to 46 per cent across the Australian working population. Innovative approaches like AWRA e-Mentoring are a practical way of supporting women’s career development and to hopefully see greater numbers reach management and leadership positions,” Ms Diamond said.

“What makes this program so great is that mentees and mentors don’t have to be based in the same town or be available to meet face-to-face. Using an online platform and various communications tools means women who travel to remote sites or work non-traditional hours can still benefit from mentoring.”

Feedback from e-Mentoring participants revealed that 95 per cent achieved the goals they set when they commenced the nine-month program.

Following a strong response from experienced male and female resource professionals wishing to offer mentoring, AWRA is calling for more mentees to join the program.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from people who want to see more women succeed in our industry and are now taking expressions of interest for women who would like to be mentored by some of our industry’s best in 2016,” Ms Diamond said.

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