Resa Furey – “The mining industry – and the business world in general – desperately need the benefits of having more diversity on boards…. It’s high time for companies to benefit from the ideas that women and diverse populations bring, and for corporations to look more like the rest of society.”

International Women in Mining Profile: Resa Furey

Resa Furey is a market analyst and marketing director with over 20 years of global industry experience in providing solutions that create sustainable returns and a competitive advantage for companies in the resource sector. She has led market studies and an initiative to benchmark the global state of alternative tailings disposal practices and the water savings that result from these methods. In addition, she has developed and facilitated several workshops on alternative tailings disposal techniques, mine closure, mine water management, and tailings dam closure. Resa received the Women in Mining (UK) 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining Award in 2018 in recognition of her work in championing diversity and inclusion in the industry. She currently serves as co-chair for the Tailings—Perspectives for a Changing World: Importance of Culture in Safe Tailings symposium that will take place in February, 2020 during the SME Annual Meeting. By Kathy Sole

Please describe your current role.
I’m responsible for marketing Stantec’s global mining business. It requires me to know the industry, client needs, and to anticipate the direction of legislation. [Stantec Inc. is an international professional design and consulting services company, offering expertise in engineering, architecture, energy, water, and project management.]

What is your experience of being a woman working in the mining sector?
I’m so encouraged at how the mining industry is increasingly open to people like myself who bring different skills and talents. Of course, there have been times when I felt my ideas were discounted – that happens to everyone – yet, overall, working in mining has been an extremely positive career experience.

What are you passionate about in your work?
I’m passionate about challenging stereotypes that no longer serve us. Take the quote “diversity is about being invited to the party, inclusion is about being asked to dance.” No one should ever wait to be asked to dance – if you want to dance, dance! If you have something to bring, bring it!

Have you had mentors or sponsors that helped you on the way?
I see mentors on a spectrum. On one end there are formal mentors, those with whom you have an agreement. On the other end there are informal mentors; the people who you don’t realize have mentored you until after the fact. These are the people you observe and learn from – in meetings or on projects – the people who know the culture of a company or industry and are kind enough to help move you and your career along.

So, to answer your question: Yes. I have had many people take an interest in me and my career, both formally and informally. I’m incredibly grateful for the way that both have opened doors – doors that I often didn’t even know existed –and contributed to my career.

Do you feel you have had to adapt to ‘fit’ into an industry that is predominantly male?
No.

What would you love to do next?
I would love to serve on a company board at some point in my career.

What is one thing you wish you’d been told when you were starting out that you know now?
Understanding the value you bring to a project, a position, or a role is key. Your skills and talents are unique and people don’t always notice or understand them. I’m trying to say this: sometimes you have to sell yourself to others and although sales might not be your primary skill set, being able (and willing) to explain what you bring, how it adds value, and how it moves the company, industry, and the world forward is crucial.

Do you sit on a board? If not, would you like to?
I don’t sit on a board, but I would like to. Currently I am active in a number of mining industry organizations – it’s my way of giving back to the industry and contributing to its future. I enjoy the governance side of this work and like the idea of helping an organization grow in way that is intentional, profitable and that benefits society.

What is your opinion in the women on boards’ debate? Are you pro quotas or against them?
Both the mining industry and the business world in general desperately need the benefits of having more diversity on boards! These benefits include, but aren’t limited to, better financial performance, diverse thinking, and better talent-management practices that attract, retain, and develop high-performing teams. While I’m not a proponent of quotas, we do need more progress in this area, now. Term limits for directors is one way to improve diversity more quickly and boards need to consider how to make this happen. It’s high time for companies to benefit from the ideas that women and diverse populations bring, and for corporations to look more like the rest of society.

Do you believe women in mining groups can help to change the image of the industry and make the sector more attractive to women?
We need all kinds of groups and voices to promote the industry: Women in Mining groups can’t do this alone.

Any advice to young women starting out in their careers?
Never discount your perspective and inputs. Everyone brings something different and valuable to a situation. And, always be ready to dance!

Do you have any books that you can recommend for professional development?
I recently read Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. I love Brené Brown, Amy Cuddy, and Malcolm Gladwell’s research and books.

What books are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading a book about a young woman growing up in Rhodesia in the 1960s. It deals primarily with her struggles to get an education and to rise above the patriarchy. I love books about Africa!

Have you any hobbies or pastimes you would like to tell us about?
I enjoy being in nature and escaping from the world by going hiking or taking long walks – this feeds my contemplative side. Other things that bring me joy are skiing, skating and spending time with my family.

 

If you would like to be interviewed, or want to nominate someone, please contact IWiM’s Head of Social Media, Camila Reed, camilar@internationalwim.org

 

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