Women in mining might be hitting a renaissance.
Or maybe with the lack of previous representation, it might just be a beginning.
De Beers Canada has announced that four scholarships to the University of Waterloo will be given to female students in the Northwest Territories and Northern Ontario.
The scholarships are in partnership with U-N Women to help raise the numbers for women in STEM programs.
De Beers Canada held a luncheon in November to introduce NWT female students to the company. A representative for De Beers spoke about the need for women in the mining industry.
“People have this belief that mining is just, ‘going into holes with a pickaxe and coming out covered in coal’,” she said. “Clearly, there’s more than just the mining side of it. We want women here to come away knowing there are opportunities in Engineering, or Science, or Mathematics with our company.”
In addition to the scholarships, De Beers will also be providing a total of $60,000 US in funding over the next three years to sponsor ten Grade 7 & 8 girls from Indigenous communities each year to attend the University of Waterloo summer IMPACT Camps, doubling attendance to 20 participants each year.
Dr. Diana Parry, Associate Vice President for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, is excited for the opportunities these young students will receive.
“I am thrilled to move forward on this important collaboration with De Beers, in which our talented, passionate students that identify as women, can expand their possibilities at the University of Waterloo. I am hopeful for the experiences created in this partnership for more of our rural, Indigenous girls to join us on campus for the IMPACT camp as this is the kind of opportunity that can inspire a new pathway and a sense of confidence in our young women.”
Women in De Beers make up just 20% of the company’s total staff.
The mining company has set a target to raise their female employee numbers by 2020.