Call made for more women in mining

Youth & Careers

By EREBIRI ZURENUOC
THERE are not enough women working in the mining industry in Papua New Guinea, says a woman who works at a mine.
Senior geotechnical engineer with OK Tedi Mining Ltd Monica Koek said this on Monday during a panel discussion organised by the Asia-Pacific Alumni Forum Committee and the Mineral and Energy for Development Alliance in Lae.
With the theme ‘Resilient and empowered women in resources – the past, present and moving forward’.
The discussion featured senior and emerging women leaders in the extractive industry.
They shared their experiences, progress and challenges to inspire, recruit, retain, support and promote women in the industry.
Koek said women were a minority within the mining industry and “we are at the stage where we need to shift”.
“What we need to do is to encourage young girls to study hard and take up courses that relate to mining and engineering,” she said.
“Through scholarships and programmess by mining companies, this can encourage and increase the number of females.
“There are not enough young women going through science, technology and engineering courses at universities in PNG.”
Koek said a good initiative would be for mining or resource companies to support young women from grade 12 through to universities.
“Potential females should be identified and sponsored,” she said.
“Get them exposed to the mining industry.
“If we are serious about equal participation for females in the mining industry, we need to do something.”
Koek said some companies had already started programmes for women.
“For most companies, the first preference is given to women but there are not many women applying,” she said. “We need to encourage our girls to go to university and take mining-related courses.”

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