It’s a small world. Dugald River employees Molly Stanistreet, a Mine Geologist, and Freya van der Wal, a Geotechnical Engineer, both attended St Rita’s College in Clayfield, Queensland. In a recent school graduate profile, they share how they pushed past gender stereotypes and landed careers in mining.
Freya, who graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (double majoring in Civil and Geotechnical Engineering) was never deterred by gender inequality. “Engineering is a really dynamic field and the mining industry has so many opportunities, especially for women, that other industries don’t seem to have,” she said.
“Working in technical services means I get to spend part of my day underground in a hands-on environment, then other parts working on projects and design work.”
Freya, now also studying a Juris Doctor, said she realised during her time as a student leader for a Women in Engineering program that it could be difficult for young women to find science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) mentors. “As a female engineer I feel as though I have a responsibility to consciously change and correct the bias young women face during schooling, through media and from society,” she said.
Molly, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Geological Science), said that from the moment she stepped foot underground she knew it was exactly where she wanted to be.
“Whether it’s mineralogy (the study of minerals and crystal structures), exploration geology (exploring new and undeveloped potential mining sites around the world) or any number of other exciting career paths, geology is so much more than just the study of earth science,” she said.
“There really is no limit to what can be achieved when diversity is introduced into the fields of science and engineering, and luckily, the mining industry strongly advocates for female equality and equal opportunity employment. It’s such an exciting time to be a woman in science and to be able to guide girls into a career that inspires them and allows them to make a difference.”