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Innovation Stems From Women On Resources Boards

18 February 2021

The Andrews Labor Government is helping more women into leadership positions in the resources industry, with the latest recipients of the Women on Boards Scholarship program announced.

Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes today congratulated the three recipients on being accepted in the second round of the program, which aims to increase the number of women with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) knowledge sitting on mining and resources boards.

The recipients of the Women on Boards Scholarship are Laura Spelbrink, Senior Exploration Geologist at Sandfire Resources; Nerilee Rockman, Vice President Legal, Environment & Supply Chain at AngloGold Ashanti Australia; and Amy Lamb, Head of Processing at MMG.

The program is part of the Prospects Partnership between the Government and the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), the peak body representing resources sector professionals.

The Prospects Partnership focuses on retaining women with science and technical backgrounds in the resources sector and is part of State of Discovery, Victoria’s Minerals Resources Strategy released in 2018.

Research shows diverse boards result in better outcomes and greater innovation. While the number of women on boards within the resources sector is increasing, women with technical industry skills remain underrepresented.

With a boom in minerals exploration, record high-grade gold production and the orderly restart of onshore conventional gas from July 2021, the leadership opportunities for women across the sector are promising.

The September 2020 quarter saw a 31 per cent increase in year-on-year mineral exploration expenditure compared to the September 2019 quarter. Since September 2016, the average quarterly mineral exploration expenditure growth in Victoria has been 10 per cent— twice the average quarterly growth of the nation.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes

“Broadening the diversity on boards means more views and experiences have a voice at the table, which can only improve our booming resources sector. Congratulations to the recipients – I can’t wait to see what they achieve.”

“It’s programs like this scholarship that encourage more women to consider the resources industry as a career path.”

Quote attributable to Senior Exploration Geologist at Sandfire ResourcesLaura Spelbrink

“For many women, the path to senior leadership can be difficult to navigate and programs such as this equip participants with the skills, confidence and visibility to take a seat at the table.”

Quote attributable to Head of Processing at MMG Amy Lamb

“Programs like this really help increase company diversity and promote innovation and growth.”

Quote attributable to VP Legal, Environment & Supply Chain at AngloGold Ashanti Australia Nerilee Rockman

“I am very grateful to the AusIMM and the Victorian Government for making such a scholarship available and deepening the pool of board-ready women, both in in the mining sector and more generally.”

Reviewed 18 February 2021

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