Celebrating Women in Mining | Kasey Newman
Byrnecut continues to set high targets and encourage more women to enter the mining industry. We met with one of these women, Kasey Newman, and asked her to share her story.
How did you get your start in the mining industry?
I always wanted to get into the mining industry, however, I orginally lived in Melbourne where there are typically not many mines. In 2013 I decided to up and move to Mt Isa, depsite not having a job. Thnakfully, after arriving I got a job at Mt Isa airport and through perseverance and applying constantly for jobs - I finally got offered a role as a Green Starter Underground.
Were there any hurdles along the way and how did you overcome these?
When I started in the mining industry some of my co-workers had the perception that I was not physically capable of doing the work. It took consistent high performance from me over a period of time to change this perception. Besides the earlier hurdles, I have fitted in really well and regardless of whether I work with men or women, the work enviroment is very friendly.
You’ve transitioned from operators to supervisory roles. What has that transition looked like?
I have been in my current role for almost one year now and every day seems to throw something new at me - no two days are ever then same. My advice to people that are about to transition from an operators role into a supervisory positions is to listen and learn. It is impossible for one person to understand the intricacies of all jobs underground. You need to listen to the people around you, share knowledge, and don’t be afraid to seek advice from co-workers or other supervisors.
Have you seen much of a change in the industry in the last decade?
I’ve seen two major changes in the mining industry since I started working in it 10 years ago. Firstly on the safety front, there has been a significant improvement in all aspects. This includes the incident reporting culture through to operating practices, as well as the implementation of new technology.
The second area of change is the number of women that are getting jobs in the mining industry. Compared to when I started, there are a lot more women getting employed and promoted through the operator’s ranks.
How do you act as a positive role model for others in your business?
When I started out in the industry, there was the perception from my co-workers that a young woman would not be physically up to the rigors of underground mining, and at the time there were definitely no female shift supervisors. I consider myself a role model having worked in most jobs underground and kept up with those physical demands. Now that I am a supervisor, it not only gives other females aspirations of becoming supervisors, but also normalises females being in supervisor roles across the entire workforce.
Byrnecut is an Major Partner for AusIMM's International Women's Day Event Series. For more diversity and inclusion initiatives, follow AusIMM on social media and the hashtag #CelebratingWomeninMining or catch up via our latest news!