Kelly Brenton at the Women in Mining NWT Launch

Efforts to increase diversity in the northern mining industry got a boost in November when more than 50 women from across the business gathered to launch a Northwest Territories (NWT) Chapter of Women in Mining Canada.The event took place on the final day of the annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, which attracts mining and exploration industry leaders from across Canada.

Since 2009, Women in Mining Canada continues to encourage young women to explore a career within the minerals sector and work to increase the number of women representation in mining.

Developed in collaboration by De Beers Group, Dominion Diamond Mines., Rio Tinto and the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Women in Mining NWT Chapter will work to promote, connect and advance women and girls within the traditionally male-dominated mining industry. 

As the newly appointed Minister of both Industry, Tourism and Investment and Infrastructure for the Government of Northwest Territories, Katrina Nokleby recognizes the impact the chapter will have on, not only the awareness of different industry opportunities, but the encouragement and improved support in navigating a successful career in the mining sector.

“You can’t expect young girls to envision themselves working in male-dominated fields if they don’t have the examples and mentors to look up to, to emulate and to follow,” said Nokleby at the official launch of the NWT Chapter.

Women who have been active in the mining sector for several years identified a need to establish a program in the Northwest Territories to foster, promote and empower women within the industry. As the NWT Chapter aims to raise awareness for opportunities for women in mining it will furthermore aid in providing more networks that support coaching and mentoring of women in the field. “When De Beers Group launched our initiative to increase diversity, make our company more inclusive, and advance women and girls where we work, bringing Women in Mining Canada to the NWT seemed like a perfect fit,” explained Kelly Brenton, Social Performance Manager for Gahcho Kué Mine and one of the driving forces behind the chapter’s establishment. “It’s a supportive organization that encourages networking and collaboration and its mission is to encourage more women to get involved in the mining industry.”

The goal for the founders of the NWT chapter is to create a safe and comfortable environment where women feel supported and can contribute regardless of their proficiencies. With the development of leadership skills and fostering access to memberships, scholarships and internships to those in the Northwest Territories, women can continue to gain the ability and conviction to become industry leaders. 

The organization is seeking volunteers to grow this chapter and look forward to partnering with other chapters to collaborate on future programs. For more information on the NWT Women in Mining chapter, email info@NWTWIM.ca. ABQ