Scholarship program in Chile opens doors to mining for women
In collaboration with registered training partner Cefomin, Thiess’ team in Chile has launched an inaugural scholarship program for women interested in a potential career in mining.
Thiess’ Training Coordinator in Chile, Carla Segovia, is a key member of the team who was involved in developing the program that launched in January this year.
Carla said it can be especially challenging for women to enter an industry, like mining, which is predominantly a male environment.
"Our goals have always been very clear in Chile, and that is to support and give back to the community, and in our region we have the chance to do that,” Carla said.
“The scholarship program allows us to give people, in a vulnerable position, and particularly women, a chance to become licensed forklift drivers, riggers and boom crane operators.
“These are all roles that are sought at mine sites and are transferable across a number of industries.
“We’re committed to giving women more opportunities, so in this program 18 out of the 22 positions available were filled by women who had no previous experience or training in a skilled trade.
“It’s been excellent to watch them gain confidence and new skills that will allow them to pursue careers they may have never thought possible before.”
Making a difference
Majorie Perez was one of the participants of the scholarship program who said it had opened doors to an industry she had always aspired to work in.
“I first learnt about the opportunity through an Instagram post by Cefomin advertising the Thiess scholarship program," Majorie said.
“I’ve always wanted to operate some kind of machinery, but I didn’t have the means to pay for training, so this looked like a great way to gain that skill.
“Now that I’ve completed the program, I feel very capable and proud of what I’ve achieved.
“I’m now a certified forklift driver and it’s been added to my resume.
“I’m optimistic that I will get a job as an operator – I’ve already received several calls and have advanced in the recruitment process for some of these roles.
“Unfortunately with COVID-19 there has been some delays, but I’m sure something will come from it.
“The program was such a great opportunity, because I could not have afforded this on my own.
“There was a lot of women in the group which was fantastic to see, and I have kept in touch with a few of them.
“We’re all so motivated and want a career in mining.”