Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) is pleased to announce the appointment of two co-chairs to lead the group in its work to improve gender diversity in Queensland’s resources sector.
Long-time committee member Sally Rayner, General Manager – Group Internal Audit at Rio Tinto, and WIMARQ’s first male committee member Rob Jackson, Vice President Supply at South32, take the baton from Kelli Howe who has led the group for the past 18 months.
“We very much appreciate the fantastic effort Kellie put in during her time as chair and we’re so very pleased that she has agreed to stay on the committee,” said Ms Rayner.
“The committee of volunteers has led the work of WIMARQ from strength to strength, and kept things going even through COVID lockdowns by taking our events online and producing no less than 22 events over the past 12 months, which actually was a record!”
Mr Jackson agreed and said that he was honoured to have been asked to come onto the committee and then be elected as co-chair.
“Men are the other side of the coin when it comes to creating more diverse workplaces, and we need to bring them on the journey,” said Mr Jackson.
“There are many male champions for change and I hope that by being on this committee and co-chairing it, I can help make their voices heard even louder,” he said.
Ms Howe said she had been honoured to lead such a passionate group of people to help progress gender balance within the resources sector in Queensland.
“And I’m delighted to hand over their reins to two pairs of very capable hands,” she said.
“And I just want to also acknowledge the close relationship we have with the Queensland Resources Council, which has been so crucial to the success we’ve seen since we began in 2005, in attracting more women to this amazing industry.
“Together we have built the annual International Women’s Day Breakfast to a regular attendance of 1,000 people and a women’s mentoring program that has helped the careers of close to 500 women since its inception in 2014.
“Our members are also strong supporters of attracting young women to our sector, particularly through our mentors on the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA)/WIMARQ Girls Mentoring program.
“All this on top of the many, many events held over the past 16 years that have created networking and professional development opportunities.”
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane congratulated Mr Jackson and Ms Rayner on taking on the co-chair roles.
“WIMARQ has been vital to the success of QRC’s Women in Resources Action Plan, which has seen the participation of women rise from just 6 percent in 2006 to 19 percent today,” said Mr Macfarlane.
“Sally and Rob are well placed to continue the significant influence of WIMARQ, noting that Rob is also a QRC Board Director and passionate advocate for diversity around out Board table.
“We look forward to continued collaboration as the QRC implements a new five-year diversity and inclusion plan.
From left are Sally, Kelli and Rob.