THE Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is this week celebrating a milestone of matching 200 women with a male or female mentor through its e-Mentoring program.

Launched three years ago, the AWRA e-Mentoring Program is supporting the career development of women in the resources and support service sectors through a nine-month mentoring journey facilitated by a unique online platform.

Catherine Bruneton

Catherine Bruneton

West Australian engineer Catherine Bruneton and her mentor, Queensland based business analyst Lana Van Wyk exemplify the program’s ability to match women with a suitable mentor anywhere in the country.

Working as a site engineer with Technip based in Henderson WA, Ms Bruneton found benefit in connecting with a mentor outside of her working group, allowing her to broaden her network and learn about other areas of the industry.

“As I was a recent graduate with only one year of work experience at the start of the program, my main goals were to gain confidence, develop myself and my skill set and learn more about where I would like to take my career,” she says.

Also finding value in the program, Catherine’s mentor, Queensland-based Lana Van Wyk has a background in engineering and now works as a business analysis manager with mining explosives company Dyno Nobel.

“I thoroughly enjoyed sharing some of my experiences and perspectives. It also forced me to reflect on how I manage people in my own teams and my contributions to the workplace,” Ms Van Wyk says.

Lana Van Wyk

Lana Van Wyk

AMMA executive director of industry services and AWRA spokesperson, Tara Diamond, says the ‘200 pairs’ milestone is a positive achievement for an industry needing to increase its gender diversity.

“The resource industry workforce comprises just 16% women, compared to 46% across the Australian working population. Innovative approaches like AWRA e-Mentoring are a practical way of supporting women’s career development and to hopefully see greater numbers reach management and leadership positions,” Ms Diamond says.

“What makes this program so great is that mentees and mentors don’t have to be based in the same town or be available to meet face-to-face. Using an online platform and various communications tools means women who travel to remote sites or work non-traditional hours can still benefit from mentoring.”

Feedback from e-Mentoring participants revealed that 95% achieved the goals they set when they commenced the nine-month program.

Following a strong response from experienced male and female resource professionals wishing to offer mentoring, AWRA is now putting out a call for more mentees to join the program.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from people who want to see more women succeed in our industry and are now taking expressions of interest for women who would like to be mentored by some of our industry’s best in 2016,” Ms Diamond says.

Click here to read more about Catherin and Lana’s e-Mentoring experience.

Click here to read Q&A’s with other e-Mentoring pairs.

AWRA is run by national resource industry employer group AMMA (Australian Mines and Metals Association) with funding from the Australian Government. For more information contact [email protected] or call 1800 627 771.