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Seminar being held on attracting women to the minerals sector 

Bernice Walker, president and CEO of Corona College. June 8, Corona College will host a seminar titled Empowering Women 2011 in the hopes of attracting more women to the mining sector. — Photo by Krysta Colbourne/The Advertiser

Transcontinental Media Grand Falls-Windsor —

Corona College is hosting a one-day seminar next month aimed at getting more women working in the mining industry.

Mining and mineral exploration companies in Newfoundland and Labrador have generated about 6,000 high-paying jobs.

“We are bringing in women’s organizations, government representatives, industry,” said Bernice Walker, president and CEO of Corona College.

“And what we want to do is to be able to identify how we can eliminate the barriers and challenges that women have and to assist them in terms of entering this sector.”

Walker said women are not always aware of the opportunities in the industry.

“With this type of seminar and to bring the key stakeholders together, it’s really an opportunity for us to be able to identify those challenges that’s preventing them from entering this sector.”

Walker said she believes the biggest challenge is making women aware of the fact they are accepted in the industry.

“The employers, the partners that we have, they are so supportive of hiring women,” she said.

“Without having industry on board, it would be futile to do this. We’re so fortunate. In our radius of where we sit in this college, we have three active mines.”

She said Teck, Rambler Metal and Mines and Beaver Brook have all hired graduates from Corona College’s mining program.

“And what we want to do is to be able to identify how we can eliminate the barriers and challenges that women have and to assist them in terms of entering this sector.” Bernice Walker

The seminar is titled Empowering Women 2011.

“What we want to do is be able to give that kind of opportunity for our women here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” Walker said.

“A story that comes to my mind is one of our recruiters happened to be in Baie Verte at a grocery store. One of the women that we had trained, a graduate, came up to her with tears in her eyes and hugged her and said, ‘You changed my life.’ She was a single mom. She said, ‘Now I am able to go in and buy the things for my daughter without having to look at the price tag, wondering if I can afford it.’”

Guest speakers and panellists at the seminar include Senator Ethel Cochrane; Susan Sullivan, minister of industry, trade and rural development; MaryAnn Mihychuk, chairwoman of Women in Mining Canada; Melanie Sturk, director of attraction, retention and transition with the Mining Industry Human Resources Council; and Karen Walsh, executive director of the Office to Advance Women Apprentices.

The seminar is being held June 8, beginning at 8:30 a.m., at the Mount Peyton Hotel in Grand Falls-Windsor.

The Advertiser

Organizations: Corona College, Mining Industry Human Resources Council, Mount Peyton Hotel

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Beaver Brook, Baie Verte Grand Falls-Windsor.The Advertiser

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  • Gerry Higgins
    May 16, 2011 - 09:53

    to the ceo and president of corona college grand falls windsor. Bernice Walker i like too congraulate the ceo and president its great to have a college like corona. bringing more women into the mining industry sector.my hat comes of too the ceo and president.to bad J with jerry above is so negative against women rights compared to the one with the G in Gerry who is so positive for women to have their equal rights !! Gerald Higgins.

  • Jerry
    May 11, 2011 - 11:36

    Krista I feel that we are all equal and I think that you should be hired for what you know, and how good you are at it rather than what gender you are. I won't keep quiet on this topic either because I am affected by it everyday as I see women being promoted and hired because the company needs to improvr its image as an equal opportunity employer. Women are good workers and usually have a stronger work ethic, and are more mature than men. All I am saying is that by saying you aren't equal proves that you lack the confidence to get ahead and shows that you need a hand up to get what you want. Womens liberation is no longer needed, but I guess you still need that hand up. You'll get more respect by not getting help.

  • Jerry
    May 10, 2011 - 09:46

    I am so sick of all this sexist B.S. with getting women into the workplace. Women these days all have the same opportunities as men and they are all well aware of the career choices available to them. They already have an advantage as companies will hire them over men to show that they are equal opportunity employers, all the women who went to school with me didn't have to look for a job, they got offers while still in school. This isn't the 1950's and all these women in management now who had to work hard to get where they are are well respected, but they can give it up because times have changed and women don't need the hand up they once did. Now the men need more help as companies won't hire us unless we have 10years experience. If this were a seminar about helping men in the workplace there would be an uproar. The best thing for women's rights groups to do is act equal and they will be well received. If you act as though you are inferior then that's how you will be treated.

    • Krista
      May 10, 2011 - 10:37

      Jerry, Until you are a female in the workforce you should probably just keep quiet.