New scholarship encourages women to study mine surveying

By on 21 February, 2017

Applications for the new Glencore Tim Underhill Diversity Scholarship in Mine Surveying closes this week. The new diversity scholarship, offered by the Australian Institute of Mine Surveyors in partnership with Glencore’s Mount Isa Mines, aims to increase the number of females studying mine surveying.

The new scholarship was announced in 2016 and this year marks the first intake. AIMS Board Member Julia Reynolds says the scholarship targets female students to promote gender diversity more widely in the mining industry, which has historically been affected by gender bias.

“Historically, gender diversity in the mining industry has been a tale of female under-representation, particularly in on-site occupations such as mine surveying,” Reynolds said.

The Glencore Tim Underhill Diversity Scholarship in Mine Surveying is a three year program and from 2017 will be offered to a female student who wishes to commence or continue study in mine surveying.

The grant will have a maximum value of $10,000 per year for three years and applications will close 28 February 2017.

The scholarship is funded by Glencore and is posthumously named after Timothy Reginald Underhill, who held a senior mine surveying position at Mount Isa Mines before his unexpected passing in 2014.

Julia Reynolds (centre) with women of the mine surveying industry at ISM2016.

A blog post from Julia Reynolds compiles research findings on gender diversity from the likes of the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Mineral Council of Australia and AusIMM. Reynolds summarises the findings of the research to be:

  • That the mining industry has been perceived to be a ‘man’s domain’ and the representation of women has remained low across all levels.
  • That there is a lack of female role models and mentoring available to women in the mining industry.
  • That gender role based stereotypes and bias start at school—with girls more likely to consider educational pathways and careers in humanities or social sciences rather than engineering or technical fields.
  • The research also revealed that strong stereotypes and assumptions exist regarding the sort of work women can do, have the skills to do, their performance potential and how strong their commitment is to their careers.
  • Mining in Australia has a culture of long hours and many roles don’t offer flexibility and work-life balance. This is particularly true for roles where workers need to fly in to remote locations which precluded many women from participation in this area due to family commitments.

The Timothy Underhill Diversity Scholarship Program aims to overcome this issue and encourage more young women to undertaken a career in mining surveying.

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