Queensland women are working hard to pave the way for young women to enter the mining and resource sector.
International Women’s Day has marked the opportunity for women in the resource industry to celebrate their success in a male-dominated workforce.
In Mackay, in central Queensland, a number of women have met to discuss the challenges and changes they have experienced over the last decade.
Liz Parotta is the chief financial officer at JP Piping Systems, where she has been an integral part of the business for 20 years.
She took the time to reflect on her early days as a young woman trying to enter the mining industry.
“I grew up in the mining industry in Western Australia and I have been around mining all my life,” Ms Parotta said.
“When I was in my 20s, the only women in the mining industry were in the administration offices.
“The first women that went out on site were extremely brave [but] that’s changed now; there are many more women on site.”
Master Tech operations manager Sarah Fordyce has worked in the mining and resources sector for 13 years.
She said she had found men to be very supportive of her career choice.
“I have found in my career that men have been exceptionally supportive,” Ms Fordyce said.
“Some of the people who have helped me to get where I am have definitely been men.”
Both said despite the downturn and current economic climate, there would be plenty of opportunities ahead for women.
It is women like Ms Parotta and Ms Fordyce who have inspired year 12 student, Emma Shepherd.
“Seeing the success of women and how they are coming into more male-dominated roles is what is driving me [to work in the resource sector],” Emma said.
When asked if women were the better truck drivers, the answer was simple.
“That is the rumour I’ve heard,” Ms Parotta said.
“They are putting more women on in the operating roles.”