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Representation Matters

05 JANUARY 2023

Since starting a year ago as Superintendent Execution – Operations Fixed Plant Crusher, Sameer Erande has employed a female on all four of his crews at the Boddington Bauxite Mine.

This year Worsley Alumina announced the inaugural Worsley Inclusion Network Awards (WIN). These Awards recognised people in our business who are going above and beyond to create an inclusive work environment for all. Today we're pleased to share WIN Award Nominee Sameer’s story.

Sameer says by ensuring women of different ages and backgrounds are represented throughout the mine operations, the workplace can be enriched by a diverse range of ideas, experiences and views.

Above: WIN Award Nominee Sameer Erande

He says these different experiences and approaches bring a fresh way of looking at traditional work methods and deliver improved ways of working and efficiencies to the business.

Sameer set out to change the way women are offered opportunities after he experienced bias as a non-mining person entering the mining industry more than three decades ago.

“I’ve worked in many sectors of the mining industry but started as an electrical engineer and accountant without a mining background, so when I suggested some things could be done differently, using the experiences I had, I immediately saw barriers being raised,” he said.

“Not only did the mining industry have a very set way of doing things and were not open to ideas in general, but I noticed an unconscious bias towards giving women equal opportunities which has led to them not being adequately represented.

“In addition, I saw invisible roadblocks from a male-dominated led sector who thought women didn’t have the experience, or didn’t understand the sector.

“All this happened with alarming regularity which is why I am on a crusade to prevent people being subjected to these barriers.”

To recruit more women to his team, Sameer invited contractors who were filling in positions to interview for permanent roles. In addition, he created flexible work arrangements for women who needed to work with their partners’ rosters, or around school hours.

“Everyone has unique circumstances and we shouldn’t have a one way approach to recruiting. We need to understand people’s stories which provides a fertile ground to develop a talent pool to assist the business and meet the way that today’s employment market dynamic has changed.”