Three of the most accomplished women in Australian resources will share their experiences with hundreds of school teachers as part of the Resources Technology Showcase 2019 event in November.

Fortescue Metals Group Chief Executive Elizabeth Gaines, Fortescue Co-Deputy Chair Sharon Warburton and trailblazing Resources Executive Erica Smyth will address the teachers at the WA Education Department’s Innovation Summit, which is co-located at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre for the two days that the showcase event runs.

The Resources Technology Showcase will shine a spotlight on the robotics, augmented reality and breakthroughs in remote operations that are transforming the mining and oil and gas industries.

The free-to-the public exhibition includes a heavy emphasis on STEM education, which Ms Gaines, Warburton and Smyth are passionate about promoting.

“As technology continues to rapidly advance and become an intrinsic part of the growing economy, we need to ensure we are encouraging more women and girls to focus on STEM subjects and to pursue the many careers available in the mining and resources sector,” Ms Warburton said.

Ms Gaines said that as a world leader in automation, Fortescue needed “a diverse pipeline of mining professionals”.

“This starts at school by ensuring STEM subjects are attractive to all students, and making them aware of all the available career opportunities if they choose to follow a STEM pathway,” she said.

Ms Smyth, a geologist who was one of the first women to enter senior executive ranks at companies including BHP and Woodside, said students neededed to understand that STEM provided the explanations to the things they were curious about.

“Some think, ‘Just look it up on the internet’, but unless we are taught the language of STEM ... we can draw inaccurate conclusions from some websites and commentators,” the current deputy chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation said.

“More career opportunities are opened up via STEM than any other stream of learning so all students, and especially girls, should be encouraged to keep these opportunities open for as long as possible when making their subject choices.”


Image: FMG chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines and board member Sharon Warburton. Pictured at Langley Park, Perth. (SWM resources tech showcase event.) 1 AUGUST 2019, The West Australian.