Women In Mining

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December 1, 2022

One of the best attended events at this year’s Yellowknife Geoscience Forum was a luncheon hosted by the NWT’s newly-formalized Women in Mining chapter.

Women in Mining Formally Launches NWT Chapter

The event featured remarks from guest speakers Katrina Nokleby, MLA for Yellowknife Great Slave and Angela Bigg, President of Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (Rio Tinto). Each spoke of their experiences and careers in the mining industry and from that vantage point, how to best support women entering the industry today.

Although women make up close to 48% of the general workforce, the national average for women in the mining industry is just 15%.

The Northwest Territories is on par with that average.

As the GNWT, through the Department of ITI, works to improve the northern hiring component of established Socio-economic Agreements, it is finding ways to help more women find employment in mine-related fields and increase female representation in all aspects of the mining industry, from field exploration and lab work to active mining and mine administration.

Those in attendance at the Geoscience luncheon event heard that Northern role models are key. 

Look no further than the GNWT’s NWT Geological Survey to find women succeeding in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).


NTGS Celebrates - International Day of Women and Girls in Science


Other ITI role models include Pamela Strand, Deputy Minister, Dianna Beck, Director of the Mineral & Petroleum Resources Division, and Charlene Squibb, Manager of Mineral Resource Planning, who now share their skills and experience in the public service.

Left to right: Deputy Minister of ITI, Pamela Strand, joins Women in Mining NT board members, Kimberly Balsillie, Charlene Squibb, Dianna Beck, Claire Tincombe and Gaeleen MacPherson, and keynote speakers, Angela Bigg and Katrina Nokleby.


WIM President honoured

Meanwhile at the 2022 YK Geoscience Forum, Gaeleen MacPherson was recognized with the Inaugural Women in Mining MAX Award.  

Gaeleen MacPherson is presented with the Inaugural Women in Mining MAX Award


See more about the 2022 MAX Awards here

As a member of the NWT mining industry for the over 22 years, Gaeleen has worked at all three NWT diamond mines.  She served as Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Dominion Diamond Mines for six years; the highest position held by an Indigenous woman in the NWT mining industry. Currently, she is the Senior Manager of Human Resources for Rio Tinto Diavik. 

She is also a founding member and current President of the NWT’s Women In Mining Chapter.