Posts

integrated mine planning and scheduling software

Tamara Chapple

Tamara Chapple: “You don’t need to be one of the boys.”

Tamara Chapple has been in working in mining and resources since 2005 in training and safety roles. She’s the Learning and Development Superintendent for leading global mining group Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto focuses on finding, mining and processing mineral resources. It recently became the first Australian mining company to become an accredited White Ribbon workplace, for taking active steps in the workplace to stop violence against women.

Why did you choose mining?

I think mining chose me. I have always had an aptitude for organising and getting things done. My background in agriculture provided me with an appreciation of machinery operations and maintenance, and working in environments that did not involve being inside the whole day.  Mining offered me the opportunity to utilise these skills and provided resources to get things done (as long as I could provide the justification).

What is your experience of being a woman working in the mining industry?

I have always worked in environments that favoured my practical and logical nature – mining requires you to be both. You need to be able to be courageous when people are not behaving in an acceptable manner, right from the get-go – and while that may not make you the favourite, it does hold you in good stead for the years to come.

Could you tell us about some challenges you have faced in the resources sector and how you overcame them?

People generally want to know you care and that you know something meaningful about them. While I get that, come Monday morning I am thinking about what needs to be done or hasn’t been done. I am fairly task-orientated, and this, combined with a fairly reserved nature, has me sometimes approaching others more as resources than people. Early on in my career I would set a calendar invite just to make the time to talk to my team members about stuff! Today, while I am not quite as blunt, I do still think to myself after a few minutes of small talk, “Would it be too early to ask about the job I wanted done?”.

I think the notion of life balance is unattainable. Being a mum of four and working a full-time job with a partner who worked roster, I found the constant juggling act of combining school drop-offs, sporting events, meals, my partner’s roster, domestic duties etc., and then being able to flex to job requirements, quite challenging.

I recall making arrangements to run a training session in Emerald on a certain day of the week (I worked in Biloela). My boss called me into his office to see if I could change the date of the session to a day later. I said, “Sure no problem”, but internally I was thinking, “Holy heck”. I had nine different stakeholders (including daycare, what roster was my partner on, who would pick up older kids from school?, would I take my twins with me?, could I get daycare in Emerald? etc.) I had to consult in order to change the training out just by a day. I rarely made time for myself; there wasn’t any time left!

How did I overcome this circumstance? I had to come to terms with not being able to do everything. Life balance implies equal weighting; this is never the case. Family comes first (where it counts) but that doesn’t mean on the day that work may not take the priority.

You can’t beat yourself up about not having everything in order 100% of the time. I weighed up time cleaning and doing chores with time with my family, and family won out. I got some paid help with the house and I walk now most days. Once upon a time, I would not leave work until dark; today I am able to leave my desk without guilt, because I know just the smallest amount of time for me makes me a better mother, wife and worker.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about knowledge. I want people to know the right things to do and how to do them in order to keep themselves and others safe, productive and effective. I don’t want to waste time; I want any training  or process that we do to make sense.

And most of all, I feel deeply about my responsibility to others. If there is something I do or don’t do that could impact on someone’s child’s, son’s, brother’s or mother’s safety, then I must be unrelenting in my efforts.

Any advice to young women starting out?

You don’t need to be one of the boys. Embrace the diversity; its ok to think a little differently to others – this generates ideas and improvements and provides a rounded approach.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. There is never the perfect time to take on a project that makes you feel a little out of your depth or to have a crack at work you may not (yet) know a lot about.

Lastly, don’t forget yourself in the chaos and momentum of life.

­­­­­­

integrated mine planning and scheduling software

Andrea Brannan

Andrea Brannan: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

Andrea has over seventeen years’ experience in the industry and is currently with Mastermyne as the Finance Manager Compliance & Mastertec.

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?

Looking back on this now, my reason seems quite naïve: money. But having had over 17 years’ experience in the mining and mining services industry I have received so much more. I quickly learned that no two days are ever really the same. As you are working in an operation that runs 24/7, there are new challenges to face every single day, which means new learnings every single day, and a diverse range of people to interact with every single day. This keeps what many people believe to be a “boring” discipline – accounting – very interesting, challenging and rewarding.

What is your experience of being a woman working in the mining industry?

I can genuinely say mine has been a positive experience. I’m a firm believer in hard work paying off, and as a woman I have had to work harder to prove myself. However, I have been rewarded, as I have accomplished goals and I have risen through the ranks during my career.

Could you tell us about some challenges you have faced in the resources sector and how you overcame them?

During my career, I have been fortunate to work in a variety of fields within the resources sector: mining services, underground and open-cut mining, and a contracting operation. Each has brought its own challenges and all are unique. Learning about each of the operations and how they work was certainly a huge challenge. To do my job well, it was very important to really understand how these operations worked. I achieved this by talking to people and asking questions (the dumb questions) to ensure I understood all aspects of the operation. This interaction (in part) led to building effective working relationships.

The other challenge I faced, which I’m sure any accountant will tell you they encounter, is getting people interested in my work so I could deliver what I needed to. Everyone is busy with their own job and it is sometimes difficult to gain their time and attention and, let’s face it, when you want to talk budgets and costs who can blame them?! This is where I have drawn on the working relationships I’ve formed. I believe relationships work in two ways: what I can do for you and what you can do for me. By providing requested information in an accurate and timely fashion, delivering on what you have promised and working with people, you build solid relationships. These can then be called on when you are needing information.

What are you passionate about?

Delivering on my commitments. Delivering on time and accurately. Being an integral part of the business, helping to shape its financial and operational success. We all have a role to play!

Any advice to young women starting out?

Find what you are passionate about. Your work will never be a chore if you are working in a field you are passionate about and enjoy.

Find yourself a support network, whether it’s other women with whom you can share your experiences, or just someone who knows how the industry works and can give you sound advice.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is how you will truly gain an understanding of the business. It will also help you to build relationships, which I believe is a key fundamental to ensuring a successful and enjoyable career.
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.

­­­­­­

neha

Néha Singh

Néha Singh: “Technological transformations will make it possible for those with disabilities to do jobs they never thought possible”

Néha Singh is CEO at PACE – Partners in Achieving Change Excellence Inc., a change management coaching firm serving the resources sector internationally. The company’s mission is to empower clients by building capacity for continuous improvement. They specialise in being change agents using the latest tools and tailor their techniques to clients’ unique situations. PACE boasts 30% of Canada’s practising LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ professional consultants and is one of three national organisations qualified to deliver the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument.

Néha lives in Sudbury, Ontario – the mining capital of Canada – with her husband Jake and her dog Thor.

Why did you choose mining?

Mining actually chose me. When I started my career early on, working in the Sudbury area as a software developer, the consulting company I was working for at the time happened to have contracts with Vale and Glencore.

What is your experience of being a woman working in the mining industry?

My experience being a woman working in the mining industry is very positive, and I have found that, more and more, the mining industry focuses on creating initiatives and incentives to encourage more women to join the mining industry. I often find myself surrounded by very few women.

Could you tell us about some challenges you have faced in the resources sector and how you overcame them?

As the CEO of Partners in Achieving Change Excellence, my current challenge is convincing the mines of the immense value and application of our change management services in the transformation happening in the mining sector. With the recent success of Beyond Digital Transformation and the meetings we are having, I do know we are close to overcoming this challenge.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about change and transformation in the mining sector. There is a major transformation underway – and not just transformation from a digital adoption perspective but transformation from a diversified workforce perspective. One of the things that most excites me is the fact that technological transformations will make it possible for those with disabilities to do jobs they never thought possible. For example, you could be sitting in a wheelchair in Thunder Bay operating a scoop in an underground mining operation in Red Lake [over 500 kilometres away].

Any advice to young women starting out?

My advice for all youngsters who are not sure of the field of study they are looking to pursue is to try getting internships etc. in industries you think you would like to be in before jumping into a university program. I am a big believer in hands-on education and you can only know if you are going to like something once you experience it.

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.

 

­­­­­­

Mastermyne- Commit Works Client

Kris

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.

­­­­­­

Eske Pillen - VP Customer Success

Eske Pillen

Eske Pillen - VP Customer Success

Eske Pillen: “Just go for it. Do it. If it doesn’t work out, go and find something that does.”

Eske Pillen is VP Customer Results at Commit Works. An experienced client relationship manager, she is responsible for ensuring clients achieve their desired and expected results.

Commit Works makes software that helps operations out plan uncertainty by getting all their people working together on the same page. 40% of the world’s largest mining firms use our products to improve production at their operational coal face and to help deliver massive capital projects ahead of schedule and under budget.

An expert in business operations, Eske has been the backbone of the development of several SMEs, driving operational best practice across all business functions. During her career, she has advised clients on operational performance and quality assurance and has managed several front-to-end operational projects, including full IT system implementations and several employee engagement and change management projects.

Why did you choose mining?

To be honest, when I joined Commit Works I didn’t necessarily choose the role just because it was in mining. I did find the mining industry fascinating. My other half is in contracting crushing and the first time he took me to see some of the equipment in their yard I was gobsmacked. I’m originally from Europe and have worked for quite a few years in the corporate sector in London, so it was quite a change! Never had I seen anything like it!

Even today, I’m still fascinated by all the machinery, the organisation of a mine and what the crews are capable of achieving every shift.

What is your experience of being a woman working in the mining industry?

It’s interesting, that’s for sure. It may sound clichéd, but I see it as a challenge. When you do get that respect you feel good! And comments here and there… you just need to find that fine line between ignoring and responding I suppose. If it’s out of order they will hear about it for sure.

Back in London, I worked in male-dominated industries so I’m kind of used to it. I don’t think the mining industry is necessarily harsher than the corporate world – just different. I think I’ve adapted pretty well and I enjoy going on site!

Could you tell us about some challenges you have faced in the resources sector and how you overcame them?

I think the biggest challenge is for people to respect you and take on board what you’ve got to say. There have been a few challenges that I’ve faced in the past 12 months. Good example: one evening, fairly fresh in my current role, we were in a bar during a networking event with lots of people from the mining industry. I was talking to a few guys, genuinely trying to understand the industry they were working in, but I quite quickly realised they were only interested in me “as a woman” and absolutely nothing else. At the time I wasn’t sure whether to just leave it and walk away or say something about it. You learn how to deal with it as you go, I think!

To be respected by the people I work with is important for what I need to achieve doing the job I do and, of course, for me as a person. Being “young”, a woman and without a background in mining can be a little tough sometimes. I’m a lawyer, not an engineer! So I use the skills I have as well as I can, I’m honest if there are things I simply don’t know and I try to put myself in my client’s shoes as much as I can.

What are you passionate about?

Stepping out of your comfort zone! Sometimes I think, “Why Eske, why?” but I love it at the same time. Being raised in Holland, after my studies I moved to London for five years, then lived in Oman in the Middle East before heading to Australia. I’ve moved a fair few times and have worked with lots of different people in different places. A few weeks back we drove 5,500 km to the north of Western Australia to live in a caravan for the next 18 months moving from place to place. And, of course, my horse is coming too. Not always easy, but if it’s possible, why not? It’s a great adventure. And I’m grateful my boss is flexible and lets me work from home!

Any advice to young women starting out?

Just go for it. Do it. Don’t feel sorry for yourself in difficult situations. If it doesn’t work out, go and find something that does. Everything happens for a reason.

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.

­­­­­­

International women's day

Women in resources: our International Women’s Day feature

In recognition of women’s contributions to the resources sector and to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2018, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Commit Works clients and employees in a series of interviews this month.

Women across the world continue to make significant strides in their careers and ­have a great deal to offer traditionally male-dominated industries. We look forward to sharing the stories of some of the talented women we’re proud to work alongside:

 Néha Singh – PACE – Partners in Achieving Change Excellence

 Commit Works supports International Women’s Day and its campaign theme, #PressForProgress.