A Sudbury mining engineer has penned a children’s book as a way to promote diversity in the workplace and encourage more women to enter the industry.
Theresa Nyabeze works as a front line supervisor at Vale and is president of Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) Sudbury. She is also part of a small demographic who make up the mining workforce. According to a 2014 study by Global Mining Standards and Guidelines, women account for only five to 10 per cent of the international mining workforce and only seven per cent serve on board positions.
In response to this trend, Nyabeze started her own business, Diversity STEM, with a mandate to create products and avenues to promote careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The first project launched under her business is the illustrated children’s book, Underground! My Mining Adventure.
“It’s a useful engagement tool to reach youth, our future mining resource,” she said. Although Undergound! My Mining Adventure is geared specifically to girls, Nyabeze said the book will be the first in a series that will hopefully inspire a more diverse audience to pursue a career in mining or other STEM disciplines.
“This is my life passion,” Nyabeze said about her reason for writing a book that promoted mining.
“For the last 15 years, I’ve really appreciated the opportunities in mining and I’m a passionate advocate for sharing that with others. It’s a very fulfilling career with many options.”
The story follows Maiya and her mother as they journey beneath Earth’s surface to learn more about mining. Maiya has always pestered her mom to tag along with her to work. And on her birthday, she finally gets her wish. The journey dispels many myths Maiya had about the industry.
Before visiting the site, Maiya thought working underground was scary, damp and dangerous. At end of story, the little girl has a better idea of what her mom does in her job as a miner and learns it is a safe environment. She meets members of a diverse workforce and discovers the role innovation plays in the industry.
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