+ Data Commercialization

On Tuesday 02 July 19, South32 Marketing and the WIMAR community presented an exciting workshop on Data Commercialization, supported by industry experts Donald MacDonald, Head of Group Customer Analytics Decisioning from OCBC bank and Venkata Narayanan founder and CEO from BigTapp consultancy. The two speakers presented exciting and practical insights on harnessing the power of data analytics by focusing on Value Creation. The evening concluded with an interactive Panel Q&A, where South32 VP Marketing Metals, Vivienne Tieu joined to speak on the application of analytics in the Mining and Resource sector.

With more than 80 people in attendance, the audience was keen to gain insights on data analytics to create value for their various organizations.

Donald Macdonald started up the session by outlining the history of his team and the roadmap he used to build a robust team, who understood the value chain from the collation of data (data engineers and scientists) to the eventual translation (data interpreters) of the data into a form that would create value for various parts of the organization. He shared applications where advanced data analytics had been used to predict customer behaviours and led to significant enhancement for marketing and fraud management. While he highlighted the need for business value on every one of these platforms, he continuously places emphasis that the value of data can only be harnessed by marrying the right technological outcomes with specific business insights.

Venkata Narayanan founder of BigTapp, presented the audience with tools, models and case studies on where to start applying data analytics in an individual organization. Venkata’s preferred framework applicable to any organization was focused on:

Business outcomes driving the use of data application.

He outlined the importance of road mapping the individual departmental or organizational objectives and desired outcome by capturing specific KPI’s. He outlined the 5 critical success factors the DELTA framework encompasses:

1. Accessible and validated Data,

2. Enterprise – understanding interdepartmental dependencies.

3. The critical importance of Leadership endorsement and dedication, without which the journey is unlikely to succeed.

4. Setting tangible and measurable Targets, which address the organizations pain points to garner continuous stakeholder support. These targets should initially focus on low-hanging fruits to incrementally advance the journey through small and sustainable wins, which can then be adapted to other areas of an organization.

5. The value of technical and interpretative Analysts in the value chain.

His belief being that this model allows an organization to build the distinctive capability per department using analytics, eventually developing multiple distinctive capabilities across the organization.

The evening concluded with an interactive Q&A session. Using Mentimeter the audience were asked to outline the challenges they faced in their various sectors in creating value from data: The responses centering around Privacy, Data availability, Quality and the Skills required to translate the data into a valuable resource for the business.


Vivienne highlighted that the resource sector would ideally use analytics to improve safety, optimize profitability from a commercial and operational point of view.

While it is clear that data commercialization is the way of the future, the audience voiced their skepticism surrounding the Ethics governing privacy and its application by asking the panelists:

 “...So where does it Stop?  How do we ensure the systemic moderation in the use of data? “

The panelists shared views were as follows:

  • While it is not illegal to transact in data, the main concern would always be around the application (use) of data as it becomes increasingly monetized.

  • Within the legalities surrounding commercialization, we would always require human intervention to define the ethics which would regulate the use of data (definitive boundaries per sector) to retain privacy and public sentiment.

  • This may challenge certain sectors to instill various forms of governance on the technological application with which they use the data they have acquired.


+ Playing by the Unwritten Rules – Dr Indigo Triplett

“Do or Do Not- There is no try!”

Playing off the famous phrase, Dr Indigo, famous Author and CEO of 4D Performance conducted a Strategy workshop for Career sustainability and development on the 25th of April 2019, to assist the individual to move from the middle to the top by learning how to play by the unwritten rules. The workshop is specifically modelled for women to succeed by understanding the cultural dynamics of their various organizations.

She left the audience with strategic insights and tools to examine their careers and better position themselves and their expectations within their organizations, whilst cultivating a holistic view of work-life balance by encouraging self-motivation and community leadership. The paradigm shift from “Job Defence to Career Offense” was the theme of the day.

The premise of her book stems from the disheartening truth that many qualified women in numerous organizations, who despite their diligence and hard work, have failed to attain the promotions and career trajectory that they desire because they have been disarmed over many generations on how to navigate and play by these Unwritten Rules.

“The Game: is the culture or spirit of the company that is working to win with or without you.”

Leveraging on candour and engaging with the audience she drew out key easy to do and use tactics which enable one to become a better team player. To move from the Middle to the Top.

Self-knowledge, understanding and most importantly self- acceptance and self-management are pivotal in navigating the unwritten rules. Knowing oneself and what distinguishes us from the rest, whilst simultaneously leveraging on our strengths is a key component in identifying the best path to fit into or influence the culture of the organisation.

Cultivating resilience - the ability to bounce-back after a setback. The game mirroring sports requires approaching each failure as an opportunity to learn and improve. Release of negative self-talk and its debilitating nature that keeps one moving from the Middle to the Top.

She further passionately described the amount of power in having a positive accountability partner, who encourages one to share their positive success stories, which naturally acts to reinforce resilience.

Once one of us succeeds, it is their duty to teach, reach out and straighten their sister’s crown. Dr Indigo iterated the importance of women advocating for and supporting each other.

Learn to toot your own horn. Become your own best friend. Share your story, the world deserves to hear it!!”

Self-advocacy is one key component women lack. Learn to see yourself as someone who can accomplish anything. The task may seem daunting but put your hand up and volunteer for the task. We only ever become, evolve and grow when we constantly challenge ourselves.

Finally, remember to BREATHE – an exercise she practised with the audience – three deep breaths and consequential relaxation encourages clarity and presence, enabling us to navigate and play by the Unwritten Rules.


+ WIMAR and Women in Energy (WiE) panel discussion on Energy & Resources at INSEAD Business School

After a successful and well-received event last year, representatives from WIMAR SG and Women in Energy Asia were back at INSEAD Business School on 13th March to raise awareness on the mining and resources industry and share their career journey with INSEAD students.

The energy level in the room was high, with several pertinent questions raised by the graduates. This puts us in the right step forward to attracting potential talents into the mining and resources industry.

Many thanks to the following panellists, and facilitator Mudita Suri from INSEAD Women in Business and Energy Clubs for sharing at the event.

WIMAR panellists

  • Patricio Higalgo, General Manager, Marketing BHP

  • Marc Howson, Director, LNG Market Development, S&P Global Platts

  • Gillian Moncur, Board member, WIMAR

Women in Energy panellists

  • Anne-Sophie Vervial, Vice President, Northern Asia Pacific, Total Exploration & Production

  • Uen-Li Chia, General Manager, Lubricants Supply Chain, Global Operations & Development, Shell

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+ WIMAR SG I&D Awards 2019 Deliberation Session

On 21st of November, we had 4 esteemed individuals from various industries come together to judge for the WIMAR Awards 2018 event. The WIMAR awards recognises outstanding individuals and groups that have made tremendous contribution in the I&D spaces within the mining and resources industry in Singapore. WIMAR SG would like to thank the judges for volunteering their time and effort as they had a hard time deliberating on their final winners.

The judges are as follows:

  • Georgette Tan - Senior Vice President of Communication at MasterCard

  • Karen Loon, Former Partner and Territory Diversity Leader at PWC

  • Lester Lu - Divisional Director at International Enterprise Singapore

  • Swati Mathur – COO Common Purpose Asia Pacific

Winners will be announced at the WIMAR SG Annual Gala Ceremony on 30 November and you can show your support and celebrate this moment with your friends and colleagues by attending the gala dinner. Tickets can be purchased here.


+ Career Reflections and Refresher Event July 2018

WIMAR SG Career Reflections and Refresher event held at Rio Tinto offices at MBFC in Singapore on Wednesday 11 July
This event was aimed at providing a fun way to share tips and tricks and each others experiences as a means to manage our careers and the ever changing working environment.  There are no silver bullets or extensive list of what you need to do; in general the effort you put into your career journey is what counts!
The format of the evening was 'speed dating' rotations among groups / topics hosted by a mining industry leader / topic expert.  
1. Communications and public speaking - know your topic and your audience - do your research; and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
2. Conflict Management - all comes down to honest communications, putting your ego aside and taking on the other persons perspective.  And remember not to be reckless -- rather wait till the morning to send that email reply than press send in the heat of the moment!!!
3. Talent and succession planning - whilst each company has their own programme in place there are things we can all do such as convey your propensity to want to learn, convey your ability to think differently and demonstrate soft skills.
4. Managing career progression - don't filter your opportunities / roles, let that be done by the hiring manager; own your own journey - no one will do this for you; assemble around yourself a 'board of directors' to help your navigate your journey; and create a 'nailed it' list or elevator pitch on what you are good at, your brand, what you bring to a team, etc
5. Agile working - there are lots of ways to apply the theory of this new way of working; worthwhile trying it on an upcoming project.
Ended the evening with an introduction to the upcoming WIMAR SG Mentoring programme and networking around dinner snacks!!!
Fun way to learn something new amongst new and old friends in the industry!!!

+ NatSteel Site Visit May 2018

On May 11, WIMAR SG members had the privilege to visit NatSteel steel making and rolling mill/downstream facilities in Jurong for a private tour. It was a unique opportunity for members to get a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of steel making.

“NatSteel were really hospitable and happy to show us around and I enjoyed the opening by the CEO. The history of NatSteel was one none of us knew of and that was one message that I took back and shared with my colleagues.  My only comment is that it would have been good if we were able to see the process flow from beginning to end. It was rather confusing as we were shown in pieces. Overall, I thought it was a great experience and I thought everything went smoothly. Thank you for organising this. I had a great time!” Joan Yuen, South32


+ Blockchain2Business: Disruption and Opportunities in the Commodities Sector March 2018

WIMAR SG hosted an engaging breakfast seminar and panel event to discuss one of the hottest topics at the moment: what opportunities and impacts would Blockchain technology present for the commodities sector?

Mariana Gomez de la Villa, Senior Program Manager of Blockchain in ING & Arnoud Star Busmann, Innovation lead in ING, shared about the possible applications of Blockchain in the mining and resources sector as well as their journey of transforming the industry through digitization on Blockchain. 

The session was followed by a panel discussion with Mariana, Max Kantelia, co-founder of Zilliqa & Anqua and Yvonne Zhang, CEO and founder of Aquifer Institute to address burning questions about the Blockchain technology. 

The key takeaways from the session were that Blockchain technology would be a game changer in the mining and resource industry, lowering costs, increasing data security, and driving digitization in both small to large companies. 


+ WIMAR SG International Women's Day Breakfast March 2018

“We can all be leaders in our own ways, which is to speak up and assert ourselves gracefully.” – Jenny Costelloe, founder of Collective17 at WIMAR SG’s International Women’s Day breakfast event 2018.

On March 8, WIMAR SG organised its annual International Women’s Day breakfast event with its members and professionals from the mining and resources industry. It was great to explore the theme of Leadership and hear more from Jenny and Mark Pickett on change management and inclusion in organisations.


+ Industry Breakfast Series – Argus Seminar November 2017

WIMAR SG and Argus, in association with the Singapore Exchange hosted an illuminating event in which metals and mining industry experts discussed China in the driving seat leading Asian market changes.

Experts from Argus Vicky Zhao, Tim Hard & Claire Pickard-Cambridge discussed China's airpollution reduction plansdriving battery metals demand, Ferrous market metamorphosis, and a helicopter view of Asian thermal coal markets respectively. 

An audience poll at the end of the seminar revealed 68% of the attendees were interested in a WIMAR field visit top a Container port/vessel or a Steel plant, 61% were interested to visit New energy centre and 32% were interested to visit a 3D printing centre.



+WIMAR 2017 Annual Gala and Inclusion & Diversity Awards October 2017

Congratulations to all winners of the WIMAR SG 2017 I&D Awards! The recipients of the inaugural awards were announced at the WIMAR SG Annual Gala Ceremony held on Friday 27 October. Casting votes from more than 1,700 professionals, the awards recognise individuals, groups and companies whose contributions have catalysed positive changes in the I&D space within the mining and resources industry in Singapore. Thank you to everyone who voted and came along to show their commitment and support at the event. 

The winners of the WIMAR 2017 I&D Awards:

YOUNG CATALYZER (Individual): Emma Vincent, Ocean Freight Procurement Principal, BHP

EXPERIENCED TRENDSETTER (Individual): Rani Misra, APAC Regional Treasurer, Cargill

DYNAMIC CATALYZER (Group): Rio Tinto IDN – Inclusion and Diversity Network



+ Industry Breakfast Series – Metal Bulletin Seminar September 2017

WIMAR SG and Metal Bulletin, in association with the Singapore Exchange hosted an illuminating event in which metals and mining industry experts discussed China’s war on pollution, government policies and the ramifications on metals demand, supply and prices.

The event featured a welcome address by Shivani Singh, Asia editor at Metal Bulletin; followed by market presentations, a Q&A and panel discussion by Charlotte Radford, minors, ores and ferroalloys correspondent; Peter Hannah, APAC price development manager; and Vivian Teo, base metals senior correspondent.

Metal Bulletin’s experts discussed China’s war on pollution as well as overcapacity issues across the vanadium, tungsten, aluminium, steel and iron ore markets in the country and the impact this has had on demand & supply with prices touching multi-year highs.

An engaged audience asked many questions across the sectors during the panel discussion including how effective is Beijing’s stance on supply-side reforms and its environmental crackdown considering the risks of restarts and new capacity coming on stream in the aluminium industry.

An audience poll at the end of the seminar revealed 71% of the attendees believed China’s resolve to tackle the issue of pollution and its effect on metal prices in 2017 had exceeded expectations. A large majority believed the impact of Chinese inspections have been most profound in the ferrous sector (65%), followed by base metals (25%), ores and alloys (9%) and minor metals (5%).

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+ Industry Breakfast Series - How to embrace BIG DATA - AUGUST 2017

At the event, we explored one of the hottest topics of the moment: how to embrace big data with keynote speaker Dr Rohin Woods from BCG. Key take-aways shared:

  • Analytics can unlock latent value by preventing bad decisions; 3 parts - Measure (data analysis), Experiment (Models) and decide (Optimisation);

  • Start by working in sprints with your existing people, data (fit-for-purpose is probably not as hard as you think) and IT systems (use existing systems or cloud solutions to prove value);

  • Identify opportunities - systematic decision audit across the whole value chain - then prioritise; hallmarks of an opportunity - high margin, decision difficult to make, using unsophisticated techniques such as gut feel or Excel.

  • A couple of good practical suggestions including don't delay starting to experiment with analytics due to base data not being perfect or Impending ERP upgrades. "Sprint" to test for value and if you find it, keep pushing ahead!

Dr Rohin Wood currently leads the Boston Consulting Group's expertise in mathematical optimisation. He has dedicated his professional career in advancing the use of Analytics in business and consulting across a diverse range of sectors including mining & metals, financial services, transportation, consumer goods, telecommunications and government. 


+ Exploring Career Journeys - Networking Drinks - JULY 2017

Peter FinnimoreAndrea Cornwell and Julia Ralph were interviewees during this fun evening event where they shared best practices in achieving professional growth. The audience learned about choices made, tips and tricks as well as mistakes and lessons along the way. They took questions from the floor, followed by networking and drinks. The event was a great success with many industry specialists in attendance - an excellent networking opportunity for women and men keen on growing their career in mining and resources and learning from the best! 

Peter Finnimore is Head of Marketing at South32, Andrea Cornwell is Head of Coal Marketing and Sales at Vale and Julia Ralph is Head of Nitrate Economics and Marketing at Orica. 


+ What I Wish I Knew Earlier in my Career - Networking Lunch - JUNE 2017

WIMAR SG hosted a unique networking session over lunch to tease out answers to the question we have all asked ourselves at some point in our professional lives. Cindy Teo, founder of Mind the gap 360 Coaching led the session and addressed the importance of being politically savvy at work and how it can shape your career at an early stage. 

A casual networking opportunity where people shared and exchanged their own thoughts and experiences. We also took the opportunity to ask the audience via a Slido poll what they thought of the session and key takeaways - shared below! 

+ WIMAR SG "Influencing Skills" Workshop - MAY 2017

WIMAR SG held a skill-building workshop looking at influencing skills at S&P Global Platts' office in SingaporeBeing able to influence effectively helps you reach agreements, achieve objectives, get along better with people, and ultimately be more productive and successful - both at work and home! Successful influencing means getting a result which meets the legitimate needs of all parties. 

Robyn Dittrich - S&P Global (Platts)Asia Pacific Vice President, Sales - shared the five essential tenets of influencing effectively: 

  • Know your counterparty

  • Create rapport

  • Authentic listening

  • Ask open questions

  • Be assertive

We hope you enjoyed the workshop as much as we did! 


+ WIMAR SG Mentoring Circle Kick-off Event - MAY 2017

After receiving an overwhelming number of responses for the WIMAR SG Mentoring Programme, we kicked off the mentoring circles event with 9 mentoring groups this year. We selected a group of passionate industry leaders to be mentors who are keen to guide mentees on the skills, experience and knowledge needed to be successful in the mining and resources industry. Jean Balfour, managing director of Bailey Balfour walked us through the programme for the rest of the year. 

+ Industry Breakfast Series - Wood Mackenzie Seminar - APRIL 2017

Trends, Threats and Tipping Points in Metals & Mining 

WIMAR SG had a lively discussion this week at Wood Mackenzie's office covering Metals & Mining corporate trends, tipping points in Chinese copper demand growth and the impact of the IMO bunker fuel regulation on the Metals & Mining industry. Bill Durbin, Executive Vice President of Research opened the event and the speakers received a tremendous amount of interest from the audience during the panel session on how EV/technology advancement affects base metals and other commodities. 


+ International Women's Day Breakfast - MARCH 2017

WIMAR SG hosted our annual International Women's Day breakfast at the Padang Restaurant, Singapore Cricket Club.

We were grateful to have Ms Georgette Tan as our guest speaker. Georgette is the Senior Vice President of Communications for Asia Pacific at MasterCard. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Singapore Committee for UN Women.

WIMAR SG Diversity & Inclusion Award 2017: We launched our inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Awards at the event. Through these awards, we aim to showcase exemplary initiatives and accelerate the growth of diversity in the Mining and Resources industry in Singapore.

WIMAR SG Mentoring Programme 2017: Following the successful mentoring programme last year, we are pleased to launch our new Mentoring Circles programme in 2017.



S&P Global Platts' view from Davos as well as topical discussions on the Trump Effect: What does it mean for China? What's the impact of US protectionism vs. Chinese globalisation? What are the ramifications on commodities, trade, investment and credit risk?

Speakers: Welcome note by Robyn Dittrich, ‎Vice President of Sales, Asia Pacific at S&P Global Platts, WIMAR SG Board Member and Sarah Cottle, Vice President, Global Head of Metals and Agriculture and Co-Head of Commodity News & Pricing Followed by market insides and a panel discussion by: May Zhong, Senior Director, Corporate Ratings Paul Bishop, Associate Director, S&P Global Market Intelligence's APAC Risk Services Li Hong Mei, Senior Editor, Metals Editorial


Members were treated to a lively discussion on the future of Nickel and Copper. WIMAR SG would like to extend its thanks to Nikhil Shah and Vanessa Davidson for their interesting insights and our hosts CRU and SGX Singapore Exchange.


Wimar’s 3rd Anniversary Gala Dinner Event on Friday night at Aura Lounge was a wonderful celebration of the 2016 achievements of WIMAR including our report on the Attraction and Retention of Talent to the Mining sector (thanks to PWC), the first professional mentoring program, quarterly industry forums and some skills building workshops. We have also added our keynote speaker Catherine Raw, CFO of Barrick Gold, to the impressive list of inspirational speeches given to our members


Selected members enjoyed the first skills building session where they were invited to challenge their self-perceptions and participated in exercises to strenghten skills often used in today's corporate environment.


WIMAR SG members enjoyed a causal drinks night where recent participants of the mentoring program were kind enough to share their thoughts and experiences on diversity in the workplace and their new found skills.


Metal Bulletin, in association with Clyde & Co, hosted an Industry Breakfast Seminar where the speakers shared their perspectives on how the physical world of copper stocks, premiums and China’s imports evolved, the changing dynamics in the copper concentrates market, and how healthier Chinese steel margins are affecting raw materials consumption.

The Speakers included:

  • Vera Blei - Global Steel Editor, Metal Bulletin
  • Shivani Singh - Asia Editor, Metal Bulletin
  • Atilla Widnell - Senior Metals Analyst, Metal Bulletin Research


WIMAR SG represented by Jessica Chu, paticipated in the University Outreach organised by IE Singapore for students, interested in a career in commodities.

Jessica is the co-head of base metals marketing for SEA, Glencore Singapore and she shared the growth, challenges and opportunities in the metals industy as the pannelist on Trader's Insight session.


WIMAR SG and PwC jointly presented an Inaugural Diversity Study, leveraging a diversity survey conducted in January 2016 with WIMAR SG members, illuminated from focus group discussions in March 2016.

Content included insightful survey findings (diversity profile of WIMAR members, their career motivations, challenges and priorities and intervention possibilities for our member companies, WIMAR SG and the Mining industry) and anecdotal sharing from our key speakers.

The Speakers include:

  • Karen Loon, Partner PwC – Assurance Financial Services, Diversity Leader
  • Nidhi Suresh, Senior Sales Director for Asia Pacific, Cloud Customer Retention, ASEAN Diversity Leader
  • Oi Mow Lie, Market Risk Manager, BHP Billiton


WIMAR SG and Wood Mackenzie in association with International Enterprise Singapore hosted a fascinating discussion on the commodities cycle and its current vicious cycle of low prices including 'how did we get here' and 'how long will it last'.

The speakers included:

  • Chris Graham - Vice President, Primary Fuels Research Asia Pacific
  • Cynthia Lim - Principal Economist, Macroeconomics
  • Chong Zhi Xin - Principal Analyst, Primary Fuel Fundamentals
  • Shirley Zhang - Principal Analyst, Institutional Investor Service
  • Prakash Sharma - Research Director, Asia Pacific Coal Markets


WIMAR SG celebrated International Women's Day at the Singapore Cricket Club this year. The event marked the official launch of the WIMAR Mentoring Programme - powered by Protégé, which is focused on developing and supporting leaders to uncover their true authentic self through facilitation, coaching and mentoring.

Louise Tagliante, the Founder and Owner of Differentiate Pte Ltd and its mentoring programme Protégé was the guest speaker during the breakfast event and introduced the programme.

Louise is passionate about helping women attain the leadership roles they aspire to and supporting women in the community as a whole. Her leadership purpose, ‘Live your passion, live THE life’, is about empowering and mentoring women to live the life THEY choose.


WIMAR SG in collaboration with Platts organised Breakfast Seminar ‘China Slowdown Ignites Cost Wars Both Up and Downstream’. Platts, The Steel Index, S&P and SGX shared their expertise about how changes in the Chinese market structure will affect suppliers, competitors and steel consumers.

The speakers included:

  • Paul Gruenwald - Chief Economist APAC, S&P
  • Annalisa Jeffries - Associate Editorial Director Metals, Platts
  • Tim Hard - Director, The Steel Index
  • Adrian Lunt - Associate Director, Commodities, SGX


Welcoming New Year WIMAR X Events organised networking drinks in Fabrika at Klapsons Boutique Hotel. The guest speaker Nicole Duncan, Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary of South32, opened the evening with her speech "Making Flexibility Mainstream – A Personal Perspective and Observations".


WIMAR Singapore hosted its second annual anniversary cocktail at Zaffareno on Friday November 6 and saw an outstanding number of attendees who got together to celebrate diversity and inclusion, network and get inspired by the key note speaker. About 219 members registered for the event that was sponsored by Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Cargill, South 32, Vale and Glencore. The keynote speech was made by industry veteran Jacqui McGill, Asset President Olympic Dam at BHP Billiton. As part of the event, WIMAR Singapore also hosted a photography competition ‘Pic-a-metal’ where eight metal inspired photographs were displayed for the attendees to see and vote on.

The first prize went to ‘BIG Truck’ by Devika Loiwal, while the second prize went to the photograph captioned ‘Steel by the Bay’ by Juanita Ogliastri and the third to ‘Sparkle in the Dark’ by Marta Caudle.

About 50% of the attendees at the cocktail event were males. “That’s fantastic. It means you get what we’re trying to do. The imperative is to improve gender diversity in the mining and resources industry,” WIMAR Singapore president Vicky Binns said in her welcome address. She added “Why is gender diversity important? First of all, it’s the right thing to do. Secondly, it has a business case. Studies have shown that more diverse teams are higher performing than less diverse teams.” “Diversity is not enough, it’s also about inclusion,” Binns said.

One of the founding members at WIMAR Singapore Zayaan Kahn talks about how she came up with the idea of establishing WIMAR Singapore in 2013. Kahn said "While managing Rio Tinto Iron Ore's pricing team, I was managing a number of graduates who rotated through the team. At the completion of this 18 month process it dawned on me that these young women, who I’d been mentoring lacked any kind of exposure to women at senior levels (Presidents/General Managers/Vice Presidents)" Kahn added “I realized that the sheer economics of our size in the region (Rio’s office had around 100+ staff at the time), meant that these women would not have access to senior female role models. And so the idea of a networking group for women came about.” WIMAR Singapore has since inception, brought about, and continues to be bring about change by focusing on diversity, inclusion and mentoring. A lot of what WIMAR aims to do was exemplified by McGill in her speech.

McGill, who started working on a gold mine 26 years ago, said she was the only female at that particular mine site. She shared many anecdotes of her early career days. The only benefit she got from being the only female at work was that there was never a queue in the ladies’ toilet. While she was once told that she would not get the same training her male colleagues received because the management expected her to leave once she’s pregnant, at another time she also unintentionally helped a religious male colleague by tearing down nude posters on the walls. “I realised by just being there I can have a positive impact,” she said. She has since wanted to make tangible differences in the workplace. During some of the mentoring sessions that she’s given to younger female colleagues, these young women told her that they wanted to “feel welcome, feel heard and just feel being part of the team”.

McGill believed that one of the first steps to improve gender diversity at the workplace is to create a level of discomfort, as only discomfort would drive change. Discomfort also means people are likely to start to see the world from someone else’s eyes. The next step after creating discomfort is the creation of belief and a personal connection, McGill added. She talked about a conversation with a male manager on a mine site years ago where he had said to her “Jacqui, I would never let my daughters work in this business.” And her response to that was “What you forget is that I am someone’s daughter.” This lead to a serious discussion between the two on the importance to create a safe workplace for women and daughters. “Discomfort is good, we should all be comfortable with it,” she said adding it creates a society where everyone’s contribution is valued and this “can change the trajectory of our resources industry and society as a whole.”