For her passion to see women in the mining industry thrive, and for going out of her way to do something about it, Natasha Cann has been awarded to 2014 Women in Industry Social Leader Award.
Ten years ago, Cann began actively working towards her goal of encouraging more women to flourish in the mining industry by developing a free mentoring service via Skype and face-to-face.
As a fourth generation miner with FIFO supervisory experience in South Australian and Western Australian mines, Cann was well-placed to offer her know-how to women working within the sector.
Her services “Mining Mums” and “Mining Mentors” aim to help women in mining advance their careers by encouraging them to share advice, success and tribulations, and to identify their career and lifestyle goals.
The judges noted Cann “tirelessly and selflessly offers her time to women in the mining industry”.
“Her primary goal is to see women thrive in a male dominated industry. She has clearly demonstrated this through her mentoring services for mining mums and for women in the mining industry through mining mentors.
“This service is offered to women free of charge which demonstrates the role of a true social leader.”
Mining Mums aims to support women who work in the mining industry and raising a family. Cann said she wants to change the perception that mining and motherhood don’t mix.
Cann said Mining Mums centres around commitment, contribution and collaboration and offers women an environment where they can encourage each other to succeed.
Mining Mentors is offered to all women working in the sector and aims to identify opportunities to develop their skills and progress their careers by using proven goal-oriented techniques.
Both programs foster talent by giving women working in the mining sector an avenue for open and honest communication.
Cann said she often receives calls or emails from women asking for advice but feeling they have no one to turn to.
“Mentee K was struggling with work life balance and tremendous life events,” Cann explained.
“At work, she felt she was being excluded by her colleagues and that her age was working against her.
“After listening to Mentee K, I set her self-esteem exercises, and we worked on developing her ability to identify constructive criticism.”
Cann said Mentee K started to enjoy her role and flourished at the company.
“The ability for Mentee K to share her thoughts and experiences in a completely confidential setting enabled her to move forward while keeping her skills and values in the company.”
A major advocate of social media, Cann used her acceptance speech to urge women to jump online to engage with each other and share their stories.