November 29, 2018
It was a De Beers-sponsored luncheon for the young female scientists of tomorrow. The speakers were selected to tell their own stories and encourage their guests to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs.
Among the invited role models was one of our own: Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI)’s Assistant Deputy Minister for Minerals and Petroleum Pamela Strand.
STEM programs are those focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematical fields; all of which have traditionally been male-dominated fields.
Pam’s career is a testament to what a woman can accomplish in just one of these fields. With her Masters of Science in Geology and as a Professional Geoscientist, she has over 30 years of experience in exploration and the mining industry.
Her love of the outdoors and passion for science were the starting blocks for a career that has taken her around the world exploring for diamonds, gold, emeralds, zinc and more! While she originally wanted to be an engineer, she discovered that geoscience allowed her to travel, experience adventure, and catered to her love of the outdoors.
At the end of the day her motivation has been the people she has met along the way. “I have met so many interesting people that I still keep in touch with – we are a small industry and a close one,” she told her young audience.
Now with the GNWT, Pam is helping to complete the transition from Devolution; working to introduce new legislation for mining in the NWT. She wants to keep working with people and industry to ensure mining is benefiting the NWT’s local communities.
“I’m proud of my path here today and my current role – it is an important one. Mining in the NWT is a way to train, educate and employ. Our regulatory system works and creates balance and benefits for residents and communities.”
Her closing advice to young women pursuing STEM programs?
“You will likely be a woman in a male dominated discipline but get involved, be authentic and honest, trust people, find your role model and network, network, network.”