Three dynamic women who have staked out successful careers in the mining industry will inspire your female students to explore new career pathways.
Female role models help get this career on the radar of women and girls because they’re able to see someone who looks like them on the job. This video reveals the personal experiences and insights of successful women working in this field.
Mining and related industries employ millions of people. Increasing numbers of women are establishing rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated mining field.
Career Options for Women -- Mining:
This 24-minute video features profiles of three women with successful careers in mining:
- Robin Betker, a mining technician who lays drill patterns for long hole drillers
- Marilène Larocque, Chief Geologist with a mining exploration company
- Shalni Prowse, a grade control technician who monitors ore quality
Additional information from co-workers and supervisors supplements each job profile.
Meet the role models featured in the Mining video:
Robin: Mining Technician
Mine technician Robin Betker spends a lot of her working day down under. She's underground in a mine laying drill patterns for long hole drillers. The drilled holes are packed with dynamite and exploded. The resulting rock fragments are taken away for processing.
Along with the day-to-day elements of her job, Robin likes the social aspect of working with so many different people in the mine. It's a different environment and one that she finds can be a real blast. “It's exciting to work underground. It's a completely different atmosphere and you work with 400 different people.”
Robin took several different courses in college before deciding she wanted a fast track into the work force. That's when she found the mining program at her local technical college. Her future goals include gaining as much experience as possible in all aspects of mining.
Going underground can be a good career move, with plenty of on the job training advancement and a variety of courses available. Robin's position pays about well, working a 40 hour week with shift work. When she's not hiking around the mine, she likes to keep active and take advantage of the great outdoors.
Marilène: Chief Geologist
Geologist Marilène Larocque wanted a career that would take her outdoors, but she couldn't decide between ecology and geology. Geology won out and she's never looked back. Now she's Chief Geologist with a mining exploration company and is responsible for all exploration forays into Northern Quebec.
“You have to be a little bit of the adventurous type to do this work. You have to be resourceful, and you have to be able to combine scientific analysis with physical work.”
Marilène is involved in the exploration end of the mining industry. She works for Socem, a company interested in finding and identifying mineral deposits. Though Marilène really loves the part of her work that takes her outside, she also has a lot of work to do in the office – that's where she does a lot of her primary research and also where she writes all her final reports after her field trips.
When Marilène does field work, it's not limited to looking for rocks and gathering samples. She also has to make the travel arrangements to all those remote locations and secure accommodations and food and all within the budget established for that particular project.
Even if technological advances have made the field work a little safer and a little faster, some things haven't changed. Geologists still have to be in good shape for the weeks of 12 hour days in the wilderness.
Shalni: Grade Control Technician
Grade control technician Shalni Prowse spends a lot of time underground doing quality checks on the ore that miners take out. Ore quality changes as the miners work through an ore vein. It has to be of high enough quality to be mined cost effectively. So when her samples indicate that the ore quality has diminished in one part of the mine, she has the miners move to another location underground. For Shalni, it’s a dirty job but very enjoyable!
“I like it underground. People don't realize how big it is. I've been working there for three years and I still haven't seen the whole mine.”
Shalni earns good pay, which can go up considerably depending on how many weekends she works. Shalni encourages other women to consider a career in mining because it pays well and there are lots of opportunities for women. She says her bosses would like to hire more women, but that women don't apply.
On the surface and off the job, Shalni’s schedule allows her time to pursue many interests, mostly outdoors. She lives in a small community near her family and takes her dog along on most outings.
Run time: 24 minutes total, including three segments of approximately 8 minutes each.
Format: DVD. Closed-captioned.
Note: Videos are interspersed with Canadian salary and labor statistics, which are similar to the numbers in the United States.
Policies: There is a no-return policy on these videos.
Grade level: Middle School, High School, Two-Year College, Four-Year University