A Buninyong woman who is a leading figure of the Victorian mining industry has urged women to consider joining the industry.
Ensolve company director Laura Chibnall said women play a valuable role in providing balance to many aspects of mining workplaces.
"Women are so well-placed in the industry to contribute, they not only bring a wonderful perspective to mining that helps the business grow within the social framework, but also a balance to some of the trades," she said.
Ms Chibnall said there had been a positive increase in women entering the mining trades industry but there's always room for more.
"In trades, it's quite well known that female operators in our industry are highly sought after because they treat their machinery differently, they get longer life out of the engines on the dump trucks because they're more forgiving on the equipment and quite often have higher productivity," she said.
Ms Chibnall acknowledged that to increase diversity the resources industry needed to provide more support to ensure a balance between work and family life.
Women are so well-placed in the industry to contribute.Laura Chibnall
"Some of the operations are starting to facilitate that with onsite childcare facilities, that's where we really need to put a bit of energy into bringing women into the workforce and making it achievable for them," she said.
Ms Chibnall said the agility of the mining industry was what sparked her passion since graduating from Federation University Ballarat as an environmental scientist.
"Many people don't quite recognise how our industry contributes to their daily lives, whether it's resources that go into building their mobile phones, laptops or the chairs that they sit at their dining table," she said.
"I'm passionate about our industry because we have so much value, the minerals industry is incredibly important to the Australian economy," Ms Chibnall said.
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Executive director James Sorahan said Ms Chibnall demonstrated excellence in environmental and community engagement for minerals exploration.
"Laura's exceptional role in building social license and supporting minerals explorers to build genuine community partnerships is recognised by this special award," Mr Sorahan said.
Ms Chibnall encouraged Victorians to think differently about the resources industry and consider mining in a modern context, as technologies continue to evolve.
"We'll never reach a point where we don't need mining, whether it's lithium to go in batteries for electric cars or copper for wind turbines, mining will always be a part of our landscape," Ms Chibnall said.
She advocated for women to be seen in prominent roles throughout the resources industry.
"Women are in the industry because they really want to be there, in the future I see women thriving in all aspects of the mining and resources industry, from the board room right through to trades and technical aspects," Ms Chibnall said.
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