QRC’s WIMARQ mentor program supports women in mining
The Women in Mining & Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) mentoring program, now in its 10th year, aims to support women working within the resource sector by offering career guidance and direction through shared experiences, goal development and relationship building.
Batchfire is a member of the QRC and is supporting aspiring women working in the sustainable resources sector at our Callide mine.
The not-for-profit WIMARQ organisation supports women as they achieve their career goals within the Queensland resources sector, with more than 500 women benefitting from the program across the past decade.
We sat down with Teresa Morgan, Batchfire’s Training Coordinator – People, Safety & Health, who was a successful WIMARQ mentee last year. After loving the program, Teresa signed on this year as a mentor for WIMARQ!
Q: Thanks for sitting down with us, Teresa. Firstly, what does a mentor program look like, in terms of support and progression?
T: QRC/WIMARQ completes a psychoanalytical matching processes between mentees and mentors to partner up individuals to work together over six months to provide a supportive and structured mentoring program.
Depending on the individuals’ goals and vision, various topics will be covered to align with the mentee and what they want to get out of the program. Some topics include: career guidance, goal setting, work-life balance, and the program allows the mentee and mentor to talk about difficult situations and overcoming them, sharing life experiences and the duties of their role day to day.
Q: What advice would you give to women considering a career in the resources sector?
T: Commencing in the mining industry as a young female has had its challenges. I clearly remember my first day onsite, I’ll never forget it; I was terrified and filled with nerves and excitement, it was very intimidating. I was a young female in a male dominated industry who was in a leadership role and reported to older males. I felt like I had to continually prove myself trying to gain their respect and acknowledgment, and from the people who reported to me to take me seriously due to my age and gender.
My passion and drive for success only grew from this. I was determined to be seen and respected as a successful young female leader, to be able to inspire and encourage other females. Since getting my opportunity in the mining industry I have been an advocate for woman in mining. I believe in breaking down barriers and empowering woman to find their voice.
This drives my ‘why’ to now wanting to be a mentor to be able to support females in their career to achieve their goals. The mining and resources industry for years has been a male dominated industry but in recent years opportunities have arisen for woman within the resource sector. A major influencing factor with this has been strong role models. These role models aren’t necessarily the woman in management roles but rather the everyday woman who are working onsite and have a voice and guide and encourage females.
The mining and resources industry is a dynamic industry to work in, with so many career pathways and opportunities for development. Due to the challenging environment, people can get complacent and choose not to pursue their goals because it does get hard, however, we all need someone to push us and support us in the background. We can achieve great things, and that is what WIMARQ Mentoring Program provides.
Q: How has this program helped both the resources sector and its employees?
T: I was lucky enough to be selected by Batchfire Callide to be a part of the 2022 QRC/WIMARQ Women in Mining Mentoring Program. This program allowed me to meet so many inspiring and determined career-focused individuals, my confidence has bloomed as a result, and it has opened my eyes to the endless opportunities within the mining and resourses sector. Networking events have given me a chance to interact with people from various occupations to discuss the way we work and challenge each other on ways we can do better to be more cost effective, safer and productive. I have used the skills and knowledge that I have gained from these events, and from my mentor sessions to set goals and create a plan on how to achieve them.
Q: How has Batchfire supported this program?
T: In 2022 I was fortunate to work with then Department Manager, Tanya Smith and Training Superintendent, Sherrie Beckingsale, who were both powerful and strong females who I looked up to as mentors. They supported my goal and exposed me to various situations and responsibilities to challenge me daily.
This was a step change to improve inclusion and diversity at Batchfire Callide and support the implementation of QRC/WIMARQ Women in Mining Mentoring Program to females onsite. As an industry we are on a journey; we have come a long way, but still have a long way to go.
Q: What’s on the WIMARQ agenda for 2023 at Batchfire?
T: Every day I wake up for work I feel an honour that I get the privilege to put on Hi-Vis and work as a female within the mining and resources industry. One of my goals for 2023 is it to be a part of QMEA/WIMARQ GIRLS Mentoring Program, to be a mentor for a young female to help, support and guide her to achieve her goals and find her voice, to be the ‘hype girl’ we all need to have when we start our career, to push her out of her comfort zone to achieve great things.
Thanks for your time, Teresa! For women working in resources that are interested in the WIMARQ initiative, details can be found here.