Kris: “It’s important to hold your ground, stand by your own morals and beliefs, and not succumb to pressures.”
Kris is a site administrator at Mastermyne. She began her 10-year career in mining working as an operator in open cut mines around Queensland before switching to administration.
The Mastermyne Group Ltd is a leading provider of specialist contracting services to coal-producing areas on the east coast of Australia. Over the past 20 years, it has provided services including roadway development, outbye mine services, secondary support, ventilation, longwall installation, conveyor installation, directional drilling, mine operations, access solutions, protective coatings, mining and industrial consumables, and other major mining project requirements.
Why did you choose mining?
I had seen the dump trucks and really wanted to be a part of that scene. It was a clichéd moment of being in the right place at the right time in terms of how I got a foot in the door though. Fortunately, I was an operator for five years in various open cut mines around Queensland before I got an opportunity to switch into underground administration.
What is your experience of being a woman working in the mining industry?
I find that open cut and underground pits are very different. My experience on the whole has been a great one – I truly love the mining environment. I’m interested in the processes, and I enjoy going underground on occasion in my current role to put what is happening on paper in perspective as to how it develops in the mine.
Could you tell us about some challenges you have faced in the resources sector and how you overcame them?
I have had unwanted sexual advances and texts and have been bullied by superiors and peers.
I have become a strong-willed person – 10 years in the industry has hardened me up. Obviously, each situation is different, and I have learnt over my years what boundaries are acceptable and what is pushing it. It’s important to hold your ground, stand by your own morals and beliefs, and not succumb to pressures.
Any advice to young women starting out?
It’s a great industry – there are some amazing people who will guide and teach if you are keen and show interest. Don’t get caught up in bitchiness and gossip (yes, the boys are just as bad, if not worse) and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself when required.
In recognition of women’s contributions to the resources sector and to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2018, Commit Works is publishing a series of interviews with clients and employees this month.