Angelina Spain, Superintendent, Office & Administration, on International Women's Day 2023

March 20, 2023

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. In your opinion, how can digital technology and innovation deliver greater gender equality?

I have been in the mining industry for 17 years and recognise there are many more women in our industry since I started which is wonderful.  This speaks a lot to gender equality and advancement for better career opportunities for women.  We are no longer thought of as office workers, secretaries, teachers.  I believe there is no job a woman can’t do.

Digital technology and innovation provides opportunities for all women in all industries, it allows greater access to training and resources which we previously did not have.  It also allows for greater employment opportunities around the world, and provides experiences that in past women only dreamt of.  

Innovation and technology has also seen flexible work arrangements become something businesses can benefit from and allows us to continue working but also getting support when needed.  Without this technology people could not continue in their roles and support their families.  The recent Covid-19 epidemic is a great example of what everyone was able to achieve during such hard times, it is a blessing that we have been able to evolve and provide such good technology for everyone to benefit.

In jobs your have worked in, or in areas of society, have you seen issues of equality evolve over time?

Mining has always been a male dominated industry, but it has changed for the better.  Businesses are recognizing women and their ability to be able to work in the same roles as men and opening up opportunities and more career choices for all women.  Thirty years ago women couldn’t even imagine working in the mining industry, jobs such as long hole drill operators, truck drivers, magazine keepers etc were far from a job a woman could do.  But over time the industry has changed and allowed us to bridge the gap and women are not only taking on challenging new roles that are fulfilling and enjoyable, they have a voice and are being listened to.

What are some of the challenges you face in your role, and what have you learned from these.

Administrative roles have predominately been women based, it would be great to see better diversity and men in administrative roles as well.  The challenge for me is to ensure inclusion of everyone no matter what the role or industry.  We need to learn to embrace change and open our eyes to what others are able to give.  Knowledge is gold, to have others share their experiences is empowering. 

What advice would you have for women working in the mining industry to succeed in their careers?

Never give up, anything is possible and achievable provided you have the drive and motivation to get you there.  With many more women in the mining industry we can help each other achieve great things, there is no limit to what we are able to do.

Any other thoughts you have on International Women’s Day?

Diversity and inclusion of all people no matter what their age, gender or beliefs are paramount. I don’t see myself as a woman working in a male dominated industry I see myself in a career that is challenging and rewarding and I look forward to seeing more change in the coming years.