A senior commercial manager, a mining engineer and a company that undertakes monthly gender pay gap analysis have taken out top honours at the first Victorian Women in Resources Awards last night.

Michelle Keegan was named as Victoria’s Exceptional Woman in Resources in recognition of her career success, work to increase gender diversity in the minerals industry in Australia and overseas and long-time commitment to community service.

Starting out as a mining engineer in Kalgoorlie, Ms Keegan’s career has included technical and non-technical roles ranging from building of an explosives plant to leading business strategy across the mining and mine equipment, technology and services sectors.

Highlights of Ms Keegan’s community service include as secretary of AusIMM WIMnet Victoria, volunteering for homelessness services and, at one time, using her pilot licence to fly around Australia to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

Ms Keegan, who is a vice president in Incitec Pivot’s Asia Pacific region, was presented with her award by Ms Vicki Ward MP, Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Employment.

Gabriela Love – the seventh woman to graduate as a mining engineer in Australia – was also recognised, taking out the Victorian Resources Gender Diversity Champion Award.

Ms Love was named Gender Diversity Champion in recognition of recent work to revitalise focus on diversity in Victoria’s mining and mine equipment, technology and services sectors.

This includes championing development of WIMnet Victoria’s Sponsoring Education for Women Program and supporting an alliance with the Victorian Government’s ‘EarthEd’ initiative.

St Barbara, a gold mining company headquartered in Melbourne, took out the Company Gender Diversity Program award for its program of industry-leading gender equality initiatives.

St Barbara’s program of diversity and inclusion initiatives include monthly gender pay equity gap analysis and reporting, a domestic violence strategy and a Women’s Internal Network sponsored by its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

The inaugural awards ceremony also featured a keynote address by Laura Tyler, Chief of Staff, BHP and Chair of the MCA Gender Diversity Working Group.

In her address, Ms Tyler reinforced the importance of moving beyond the business case into concrete actions to increase gender diversity.

‘It is important that we use all our influence to make the whole industry more accepting of diversity in our workplaces.

‘We must grow the pool of female talent not only in our own teams and organisations, but across the entire resources industry.’

Proudly sponsored by Mandalay Resources and Orica, the inaugural Victorian Women in Resources Awards were hosted by the MCA Victoria with support from WIMnet Victoria.

WIMnet Victoria’s Jo Barron-Perry congratulated the winners and finalists on their commitment to increasing gender diversity in the minerals industry.

‘The efforts of Michelle, Gabriela and St Barbara have helped focus attention within industry on the importance and benefits of increasing gender diversity and inclusion.

Dr Gavin Lind, Executive Director MCA Victoria, said the Victorian awards had provided an important opportunity to recognise Victorian-based individuals and multi-national companies advancing gender diversity across Australia and globally.

‘Last night’s awards brought together the breadth of Victoria’s minerals industry – from Melbourne-based global mining companies to the mine equipment, technology and services sectors to regional mining operations to recognise this success.’

Ms Keegan, Ms Love and St Barbara will represent Victoria as finalists in the Women in Resources National Awards (WIRNA) in Tasmania in August.

Launched in 2010, the WIRNA is an initiative of the MCA and state chambers with support from various Women in Mining Network state branches.

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