In a male-dominated industry, women are making their mark at Peace River Coal’s (PRC) Trend mine.
With 22 per cent of the mine’s 226-employee workforce being female, the mine’s gender ratio is far closer than the industry average in Canada.
Women in Mining Canada, a not-for-profit group formed to advance the interests of women in mineral exploration and mining, says women make up 14 per cent of Canada’s mining workforce. That’s significantly higher than in Australia, where women make up just 2 per cent of the mining workforce.
In Tumbler Ridge, mining jobs available to women aren’t just in administration and accounting, but in the traditionally male jobs of haul truck driving, mine engineering and more, said Trend mine general manager Steve Amor.
In all, 13.4 per cent of the women work in non-traditional jobs, while 8.6 per cent work in clerical positions. There are 21 women in administration, 10 are haul truck drivers, and seven are foremen. Six women are safety personnel, five are assayers, five are on janitor and service crew, and four work in geology and environment. There are four women in the warehouse, four working in the plant, four in engineering, and two female surveyors.
Within the company, change is being driven from the top down. PRC majority owner Anglo American PLC has been run by CEO Cynthia Carroll since March 2007. In 2009, Forbes magazine ranked Carroll as the fourth most powerful woman in the world.