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I am fortunate to have a workplace that understands that some days family life can throw curveballs at me

Karen is a Production Superintendent for Iluka Resources. She enjoys the dynamic environment associated with managing a processing facility, with each day bringing new opportunities and challenges.

Describe your career path to your current job?

I commenced as a Graduate Process Engineer and have since filled roles including production planning analyst, technical superintendent, processing superintendent and, for a short time, even delved into business analysis whilst completing post-graduate studies in business.

What attracted you to a career in mining and resources?

I grew up in Kalgoorlie and was therefore immersed in mining. The opportunity to attend the WA School of Mines to study metallurgy presented itself so I grabbed it.

How do you juggle working in mining and resources with family life?

Flexibility. I am fortunate to have a workplace that understands that some days family life can throw curveballs at me, which means I may have to work from home or occasionally do work outside of my normal working hours. It’s about give and take and mutual agreement from both parties. Being organised is also critical. Lots of planning and organisation goes in to making it all come together.

What do you think of the general perception that mining and resources is a male dominated
sector?

The perception is still correct, however it has changed significantly over the past 20+ years that I have been in the sector and it continues to evolve.

What advice would you give to other women considering a career in the sector?

Go for it. You will find it very rewarding and fulfilling. The diversity of roles and people keeps it interesting and dynamic.

What’s the biggest thing you would like other women to know about working in mining
and resources?

There are many opportunities within the sector if you are willing to display your strengths, be determined and establish constructive working relationships to help forge a career path.