Pilbara local Donna Stace wins Women in Resources Award

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Outstanding operator/technician/trades woman in resources winner Donna Stace.
Camera IconOutstanding operator/technician/trades woman in resources winner Donna Stace. Credit: CME

Long-term Pilbara resident Donna Stace has been named WA’s most outstanding operator, technician or tradeswoman in resources at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy’s prestigious Women in Resources Awards.

Ms Stace won the award at a ceremony in Perth on Friday, March 15, for her longevity in the sector, demonstrating great leadership in managing teams and being a role model and advocate for women in trades.

Ms Stace, a maintenance supervisor for Rio Tinto in Dampier, said she had been interested in trades from a young age and worked in the resource industry for about 13 years.

As the North West ambassador for women in trades advocacy group TradeUP and founder of a women in rail network at Rio’s Dampier facilities, she said she was passionate about getting more women into trade roles.

“Currently, women in trades make up only 3 per cent of the workforce. It’s a tiny number,” she said.

“So we’ve got a long way to go in that space.

“Female representation in other areas of mining is far greater, so we’re still working to get up those numbers in trades.”

“Ultimately for me, it’s about choice. I want girls and women to know that this is a career you can most certainly consider and have a very fruitful and successful career in. It takes you so many different places.”

Ms Stace was born and raised in Dampier and now lives in Karratha, after some time working overseas.

Having started her apprenticeship with Rio in 1994, she said female representation in the resources industry had come a “long way” since she started, though had lagged in the trade space.

She said it was an honour to be acknowledged as a leading woman in the sector and used her acceptance speech to call for more flexible work arrangements to improve female retention in the industry.

“We’ve got to have a conversation about supporting women but we’ve also got to have a conversation about making the mining industry better for families,” she said.

“We need to support the men to be able to contribute to their families, because that supports the women as well.”

Rio Tinto Iron Ore managing director of port, rail and core services Ivan Vella said Ms Stace was a strong advocate for gender diversity, especially in technical and trade roles, in the Rio workforce.

“It is so exciting to see her work in this area over many years recognised with this award,” he said.

“She will no doubt leverage this recognition to further raise the profile and importance of diversity across our workplace and industry.”

CME chief executive Paul Everingham congratulated all the Women in Resources award winners and nominees.

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