International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
To help celebrate the successful women who surround us each day, we’d like to introduce you to Ivy Chen, Principal Consultant at CSA Global who shares with us her career journey and her time at CSA Global.
In Ivy’s words….
International Women’s Day for me is about celebrating our successes and set-backs. Becoming a geologist was by a slightly circuitous route. I didn’t have the grades for vet-school, and my parents were convinced that mining was a sub-optimal career for a well-brought-up Chinese/Malaysian girl. So, I learned to balance ledgers for a year, ground-up pills and potions in pharmacy for six months and eventually wore my folks down enough to agree that becoming a geologist was at least a job, with a semi-regular pay check.
When I graduated, I was one of two women in a group of about twelve hirsute guys. My first job was as a pit sampler in Leonora, and no one was going to tell me that mining wasn’t for girls. In my first year out, I hefted bags of drill chips and lugged sacks of explosives along with the shot crew.
As a woman in the mining industry, you are sometimes not seen as “one of the guys”. But that’s OK. We need to celebrate that difference. That is the value that women bring to the team, as well as a different perspective to problem spotting and problem-solving.
Women who come from a different culture, age group, country, and education, all bring value, and that is something worth remembering. In my own experience and in the early years of my career, female geologists were rare; Asian female geologists were even rarer! Throughout my career, this has been both a help and a hindrance; but it has brought me opportunities, both professional and personal.
I have been with CSA Global since 2015; the collegiate approach here at CSA Global is a great environment for learning and sharing. Working here has opened doors to terrific opportunities to make a difference to how our industry operates; to improve how our clients are seen by their peers, to facilitate fundraising, to document corporate schemes and mergers, and to value acquisitions and divestments for our clients.
About Ivy Chen
Ivy is a corporate governance specialist, with 30 years’ experience in mining and resource estimation. She served as the national geology and mining adviser for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) from 2009–2015. Ivy’s experience in the mining industry in Australia and China, as an operations and consulting geologist includes open pit and underground mines for gold, manganese and chromite, and as a consulting geologist she has conducted mineral project evaluation, strategy development and implementation, through to senior corporate management roles. Ivy joined the VALMIN committee in 2015.