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Making their Mark: Nenes and Ale

Across the Thiess Group , we continue to grow and connect our global network of women with a diversity of qualifications and experience.

This month we met Artika Agnestya (known as Nenes) from Indonesia and Alejandra Vera from Chile.

While Nenes is just starting out her mining career as a welding apprentice, Alejandra has worked in various roles since 1995 and curently works as a Production Dispatcher. Click here to read more about Nenes and Ale.

Meet Nenes

Nenes is the first female welding apprentice since the inception of the Balipapakan apprenticeship program 1992.She is one of 50 new apprentices in the latest intake, 25 of whom are women.

Nenes says “I thought the apprenticeship would be a good opportunity for me because people in my family work in the engineering field so they supported the idea of a welding apprenticeship. I was interested in welding because I wanted to challenge myself and learn a new skill. The idea of a different trade really appealed to me.”

Nenes graduated from State Technical High School 6 in Balikpapan . Nenes says “the traning in high school is very different to what I’m learning now. I’m really enjoying the program so far. I know the training will equip me for the future, to become highly skilled. It’s exciting to think about my career path. Maybe one day I could be welding in Australia.”

Meet Alejandra (Ale)

Ale has worked in the mining industry since 1995. Ale started in a security role and was then given an opportunity to train and become an operator, which was rare for women at that time. In 2020, Ale joined Thiess and currently works as a Production Dispatcher. Ale says, “Mining opened up professional and personal development opportunities for me that I wouldn't have found in other fields. In 1995, there were very few women, and they were always in support roles, not operations.

To Ale, the mining industry has presented both opportunities and challenges as a single mother raising her son. She says “my career has enabled me to give my son a comfortable life and I am grateful for that. To be a mother and work in operations, it is essential to have a support network and for the company to prioritise flexibility.”

Ale thinks thatthese days there are more opportunities for women to develop, particularly in supervisory and managerial roles. “It’s great women can progress and this can happen, but only when there is more respect in the workplace.” When asked what advice she would give to someone starting a mining career Ale shared, “do your work with passion; it does makes a difference. It shows in the way you work. Camaraderie is important, and women should support and lift each other up always.”

Meet Ale, Production Dispatcher, Chile

Meet Nenes, welding apprentice, Balikpapan, Indonesia