What is it like working in the resources sector? For many women, thinking about a mining job conjures up images of hard hats, giant trucks and getting dirty, which can be discouraging when starting out or choosing a career. While that maybe a reality for some on-site jobs, there are many areas of expertise far from that world.
EveryWoman Business Events hosted a luncheon at the Parmelia Hilton, Perth, showcasing three exceptional women in the Oil, Gas and Energy sectors. These women couldn’t be more different in experience and background, but they do have a few things in common: intelligence and attitude.
The first speaker, Katrina Bukauskas, is the youngest engineer I’ve ever met, but her experience and energy already make her a role model in her field. Last year Katrina won the Outstanding Young Professional Woman award, presented to her by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, and she works tirelessly to promote community development and networking opportunities.
“When you are finding your way, a mentor is important to help you find that path, while sponsors are necessary to make things happen,” she says.
Dr Carla Boehl is the Principal Hydrocarbons Engineer at Rio Tinto and she has moved around the world for her job; a sometimes difficult task with a husband and a young family. Carla tells it like it is and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to having it all.
“Some women like to work part-time, others not at all once they have children. I’m not like that! I love my job, and I knew I would need help with the children if I wanted to keep going with my career.”
Carla stresses that women shouldn’t be made to feel inadequate as mothers if they return to work; not all women are alike.
Yvette Manolas’ official title is Gas Forecasting Manager at Woodside. As she explains, what she really does is analyse explosions. Yvette was a 40-Under-40 winner in 2010 and credits her success to working hard, being diplomatic and taking advantage of opportunities.
“It can take time to command respect in the explosives world but as long as you be yourself and always treat others with respect no matter what, your integrity will come through.”
These inspirational ladies’ stories don’t just have value for those wanting to work in the resources sector; their life lessons should resonate with all women in the workforce who sometimes question their worth or aren’t sure what road to take.