Kristy Christensen is one of the reasons last year’s upturn in mining jobs has benefited people in the Illawarra.
Ms Christensen, a geotechnical engineer with South32 at the Appin colliery, was been announced as one of the category winners for the 2018 Women in Mining Awards held by the NSW Minerals Council.
She won an “exceptional young woman in mining” award which was presented by NSW Minister for Women Tanya Davies.
South32 said her work had seen the installation of onsite parenting rooms to support breastfeeding mothers returning to work; and the creation of welcome packs for new female employees containing items that make working underground more comfortable.
Ms Stephensen said she was proud to support other women in an industry that has typically been designed for a predominately male workforce.
“Design has the unique ability to make people feel acknowledged and respected. As an industry we have the opportunity to attract and retain more females by ensuring the basic functionality of our workplaces and facilities make all employees feel valued,” she said.
“Industries which aspire to greater female participation need to ensure their workplaces provide the essentials, such as fit-for-purpose facilities and work gear. I recommend they test their designs with their current female workforce to verify it truly suits their needs.”
I recommend they test their designs with their current female workforce to verify it truly suits their needsKristy Stephensen
Figures from industry safety body Coal Services show a jump in Illawarra coal jobs over the 12 months to December last year.
There were 400 more local coal jobs in December 2017 than at the same time in 2016, taking the Illawarra’s overall coal mining job numbers to 2,550, the NSW Minerals Council said.
The Illawarra figures will have been altered since December, with major redundancies having taken place at South32 this year.
“Many of our coal mining regions, like the Illawarra, had a tough few years from 2013 to the end of 2016, so this jobs boost over 2 017 is really good news for mining communities,” Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said.
He said about 500 business who supply mines in the Illawarra also benefit when jobs go up.