Major lithium miner Pilbara Minerals is taking steps to support women in the industry with a monthly Women of the Pilbara event.

As reported by the ABC, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) found women accounted for 18 per cent of resources workers in 2017.

This year the CME found the number had jumped to 22 per cent, with more women taking on leadership roles.

Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora dump truck operator and mother of three Eilish Hae Hae told the ABC the events are a chance for women in the industry to connect.

“The first time I saw a female digger was here on site, and today I met another one,” she said. “Girls can do it and I will do it too.”

Pilbara Minerals also operates the Women in Mining and Resources WA (WIMWA) mentoring program.

The program aims to support women through matching participants with a mentor who is thriving in their career to provide individual support and guidance.

Throughout the year participants attend events to build their networking skills and professional networks and regularly meet with their mentor to work on areas identified in their application.

Supporting women in the resources sector is becoming a focus across the industry, with initiatives being introduced to address harassment and inappropriate behaviour towards women.

The Western Australian Government recently launched two new programs in order to create safer workplaces for women and to drive cultural change within the State’s resources sector.

The first campaign, titled SPEAK UP, REPORT IT, will reinforce the message that harassment and bullying in the resources sector is unacceptable.

The second campaign, the Respect in Mining program, aims to increase awareness and knowledge of the impact of gender inequality on women’s safety and the impact of gendered division in leadership within the resources sector.

This article originally appeared on Australian Mining.

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