“The industry needs to recognise that the past stereotypes no longer apply and change the perception of mining within the community”
Anne-Marie Ebbels is mining engineer with over 18 years experience in mining operations and consultancy in Australia and overseas. Her expertise includes mine design, planning and scheduling, and she has significant practical experience in these areas. Anne-Marie obtained her Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) from the Gartrell School at The University of South Australia in 1995. As a student, she worked in Meekatharra, Western Australia and Rosebery, Tasmania before graduating and accepting a graduate position with Pasminco Ltd in Cobar in NSW to pursue her mining career in hard rock underground mines.
Following that role, was a move to the iconic mining hub of Mount Isa where Anne-Marie was part of the project team to implementing electronic detonators firing for mass blasts within the copper mine. During this time, she also completed a Graduate Diploma in Computer Studies at the Murdoch University.
Prior to the birth of her first child in 2004, Anne-Marie moved to the Yarra Valley, but continued to work remotely for Mount Isa Mines in a mine design and planning roles. Subsequently, Anne-Marie has continued working in mining consulting based in Melbourne.
Anne-Marie gives back to the industry as a chartered Member of the Australasia Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), and she has been a member of the organising committee of the past two Underground Operator Conferences. Notably, she will be first woman chair of the Underground Operating Conference in 2020.
What is the biggest challenge to all women pursuing a career in STEMM?
The naysayers – people who discourage girls from pursuing science or engineering because it is still seen as a non-traditional role for women. I would love to live in a world where you are encouraged to pursue your passion regardless of whether you are male or female, black, white, red or purple, it is about what you can do, not what you look like.
What do you believe are the greatest attributes of a successful leader?
The ability to listen and motivate your team to share your vision of the outcomes and achieve that vision.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to women just starting their careers in STEMM?
If you wish to have a family, factor that into your career plans. Think about what skills sets do you and your partner need to be able to provide the flexibility to have a family. In mining, I would also diversify your skill set to be able to weather any downturns.
How do we keep more women engaged in STEMM-related careers?
The mining industry changed dramatically during the mining boom which opened the door for a lot more women to participate in the industry. Roles within mining are changing not necessarily as physical as equipment and technology advances, and therefore this will appeal to a wider range of people. The industry needs to recognise that the past stereotypes no longer apply and change the perception of mining within the community.
How do you cope with self-doubt? How do you cope with imposter syndrome?
It’s tough, I need to reflect on what I have done and try and quieten the voice that promotes the self-doubt. Also recognising that no-one is perfect at what they do 100% of the time and that it is okay not to be always right.
What do you love most about your professional role in STEMM?
I really enjoy the problem solving and using my knowledge and skills to come up with different solutions. I also love being able to combine my engineering and computer programming skill to develop more efficient ways of undertaking my work.
LinkedIn: Anne-Marie Ebbels