Trio champions of diversity

Alicia PereraPilbara News

Three women from the Pilbara have been named among the finalists for the 2017 Women in Resources Awards.

The annual Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA awards, now in their eighth year, recognise individual and company achievements boosting women’s employment and profile in the resources sector.

Thirteen people were last week shortlisted for the awards from a pool of 90 nominations.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore project field co-ordinator Kestin Rek, who works as a fly-in, fly-out worker to West Pilbara locations including Paraburdoo and Tom Price, and Barrow Island-based Chevron marine communications operator Karen Montford, are finalists in the outstanding operator/technician/trade woman in resources category.

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Roy Hill superintendent control Jodi Moffitt, who until recently worked fly-in, fly-out to the Pilbara, is also in the running for the outstanding young woman in resources award.

Ms Rek said her experience of the industry had been one where enthusiastically embracing new challenges and learning on the job could take you far, and she would “without a doubt” recommend resources work to other women looking for an exciting career.

“It has given me the most challenging yet rewarding years of my working life,” she said.

Ms Rek said while women were still a minority in the sector, support through mentoring and a stronger emphasis on diversity were making a big difference.

“Whatever you set your mind to, you can achieve it and, with a supportive company like Rio, you can honestly achieve whate-ver you want to achieve,” she said.

“The opportunities are endless compared to five, six, seven years ago when they were somewhat limited.”

CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the number and high standard of entries reflected a growing commitment to improving gender diversity in the sector.

“WIRA allows us to acknowledge inspirational women working in Western Australia, the men and women who champion gender diversity, and the efforts made by companies in the sector to improve the participation of women in our workforce,” he said.

Award winners will be announced at a breakfast event in Perth on Friday, March 3.

The winners will represent WA at the 2017 Women in Resources National Awards later this year.

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