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Exploring New Ground: Discovering Opportunities for Women in Mining

New Afton Mine played host to 18 high school students as part of the Future Women in Mining event which introduces students to different career paths in the mining industry.  

“When you actually get students on the mine site, they can better envision themselves working in this industry,” said Lisa Newman, Electrical Safety Advisor at New Afton and coordinator of the event.  

Lisa Newman, Health and Safety Advisor

Lisa joined New Afton in 2010 as a Red Seal electrician and obtained her second trade ticket as an instrumentation mechanic in 2015 through New Gold’s apprenticeship program while continuing to work. She led the coordination of the event after the idea came from the mine’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.  

“The students had orientation and then toured different areas of the mine like the pit lookout, the mill, our exploration core shack and more,” said Lisa. “When they’re exposed to the real thing, they can imagine themselves becoming a woman in engineering or chemistry or operating machinery – whatever it may be.”  

The event was in partnership with School District 73’s Discovery Day career exploration program which allows students to sign up for day trips to explore jobs that interest them.  

“When else would students get to go see an operating mine and observe the many different jobs first-hand?” said Allisson Badger, Career Education Coordinator with the school district. “The whole point of career exploration is that you can’t aspire to be something if you don’t know it exists.”  

“Being able to see behind the scenes at New Gold and see what people in careers really do gave me a perspective of the many opportunities we have.”

Taylor Drake, School District 73 student in the dual-credit electrical program with Thompson Rivers University

Lisa hopes that by showcasing the many different career paths at New Afton, she and other women in mining can break down barriers that may keep women from exploring careers.  

An employee shows a student a core sample

“This event shows them what’s possible and removes fear of the unknown,” she said. “My dream is to see some of these students walk through the doors at New Afton in a couple of years as summer or co-op students.”