Lynas Rare Earths celebrates women in mining at International Women’s Day event
Lynas Rare Earths held its International Women’s Day event at the Kalgoorlie City Hall on Friday to celebrate and recognize the women who work for the mining company.
External relations manager WA Rowena Olsen told the Kalgoorlie Miner the company brought women from across Lynas’ Australian operations to celebrate the diversity in the company and across the mining sector.
“We are so happy that everyone will also be joining us today at the Kalgoorlie City Hall … many of the women today did not meet each other because they were in different places. Of course our Mount Weld site is 400km away and our Kalgoorlie site is just brand new,” she said.
Ms Olsen said Perth women had also flown in to attend the event, and they would have the opportunity to meet colleagues they had spoken to by email or phone.
“It will be a chance to see each other face to face and then celebrate the coming together and inclusion and diversity and really challenge the status quo of what it means to be a woman in the mining industry,” she said. said.
“We’ve invited a number of women from across Kalgoorlie, Perth and Mount Weld who are also our stakeholders because we want them to be included in everything we do and we know that when we all interact together, positive outcomes happen.”
The event’s special guest, Katherine Downey, is a two-time Paralympic gold medalist and architecture student.
“Kat has also trained with our very own Olympian who is Heidi Gan, our senior legal advisor and an assistant company secretary who represented Malaysia in the 10km open water swimming at the 2012 London and the 2016 Rio Olsen Games,” Ms Olsen said. said.
“We’re also going to make a $5,000 contribution to the Goldfields Women’s Healthcare Center and we’re going to make a $5,000 contribution to the One Tree Crisis Intervention Service in Laverton.”
She said it was fantastic to be able to bring everyone together, but that Lynas knew they couldn’t break the barrier and break through the glass ceiling if men didn’t come along and support them along the way.
“So we actually have men from our operation joining us today to hear from Kat and to hear from our speakers and also to embrace the change that’s needed,” Ms Olsen said.
Lynas Rare Earths also announced a three-year partnership with the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group, with the mining company contributing $50,000 a year to receive KBULG’s “expert knowledge”.
“(They will) help us on the ground to implement rehabilitation and replanting initiatives on top of what we are already doing,” Ms Olsen said.
Lynas Rare Earths CEO Amanda Lacaze said the company is focused on improving conditions for women.
Ms. Lacaze told those present that the most important reason to observe and talk about the status of women was because of the disproportionate amount of abuse women continued to suffer at the hands of men.
“I was born into a caring and supportive family. I was born in a rich country and as a result I had opportunities that many women did not have and I asked myself, what can I do? Well, the number one thing I can do is make sure we improve the outcomes for women in our organization,” she said.
“When I first came to Lynas, I found women across the organization doing administrative roles when they have, for example, a chemical engineering degree, that was one of the worst. I wanted Lynas to become an employer of choice for women and I simply wanted more women in mining.”
Ms Lacaze noted that in 2016 Lynas had 58 women in the company, mostly in administrative roles.
“This was the year I absolutely promised we would do better. Today, I’m really proud to report that we had a total of 235 women, so that’s about 23 and a half percent,” she said.
“There are 196 in Malaysia and 49 in Australia and in the end I’m a bit pleased with our progress. I am especially happy that we have women in all parts of the business.”