Vale.com - 28 February 2013
Samantha Espley has been selected recipient of the 2nd annual Trailblazer Award, which recognizes women who have taken personal career risks and helped advance the careers of other women.
Women are significantly underrepresented in the minerals exploration and mining industry. Several studies have identified that women are discouraged by a lack of role models in senior management; prompting Women in Mining (WIM) Canada to initiate the Trailblazer Award to highlight successful women and encourage more women to explore a career in the minerals sector.
Samantha Espley has been selected as the recipient of the 2nd annual Trailblazer Award, which recognizes women who have taken personal career risks and helped to advance the careers of other women. The presentation will be made at the 6th annual Women in Mining International reception, on March 5, 2013 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre during the annual PDAC conference. Over 400 people are expected to be in attendance.
Samantha’s career progression is definitely a remarkable and inspiring climb for women in mining. Graduating with an engineering degree 25 years ago, she worked with Dome Limited in Northern Quebec, Denison-Potacan Potash Corporation in New Brunswick, and then moved to Falconbridge Ltd. working both in their Quebec and Sudbury operations. Since 1990, she has worked for Inco Ltd. (now Vale) where she has held roles of increasing responsibility, currently leading a multi-disciplinary group of mining and mineral processing engineers, geologists, metallurgists, technologists and other technical staff supporting Vale’s mining and milling operations in Sudbury.
She is the only woman that has held many of these roles for Vale and is a true trailblazer as well as a role model for young women striving to attain senior roles in the mining industry. “I am humbled and honoured to receive this prestigious award from WIM Canada,” said Espley. “Mining has allowed me to have a challenging and rewarding career, and I think it’s incumbent on female professionals to promote mining as an attractive career choice to the next generation of young Canadian women. I look forward to seeing more women occupy senior management roles in our industry through the work of WIM and other industry partners.”
Samantha is an active volunteer. She has spent many hours volunteering as a speaker, running science and engineering events in the WISE “Olympics”, ‘Gearing Up’ and with ‘Go Eng Girl’, actively writing technical papers to encourage women to consider a career in the minerals sector. Whenever possible, she volunteers with her daughters and son, illustrating her strong commitment to family as well as her community.
Samantha strives to clear a path for women to work in mining. Over the years, she has actively mentored new engineers and graduate students. In her current position, Samantha makes strategic business and technical decisions to ensure Vale is mining in a financially feasible manner and maximizing the value of the resources in the mines where her teams work. In addition to her impressive accomplishment, her approachability makes her an amazing Trailblazer who is inspiring the next generation.
More about Samantha: Since 1990, Samantha has worked for Inco Ltd. (now Vale) where she has held roles of increasing responsibility including Superintendent of Mines Research, Superintendent of Business Systems, General Foreman at Creighton Mine, and Manager in Capital Projects. She is currently General Manager of Mines Technical Services and leads a multi-disciplinary group of Mining and Mineral Processing Engineers, Geologists, Technologists, Metallurgists and other technical roles supporting Vale’s mining and milling operations in Sudbury.
She is a Past-President and a founding director of WISE Sudbury (Women in Science & Engineering), a past member of the Board of Trustees for Science North, a long-standing member of CIM and has been an executive member of the CIM Sudbury Branch. She is a newly appointed board member for the Bharti School of Engineering at Laurentian University. Outside of her technical roles within Vale, Samantha has volunteered her time as the Technical Committee Chair of MEMO 2010 (Maintenance Engineering/Mine Operators’ Conference) which further highlights her ongoing commitment to education and research in the Canadian Minerals Industry. She co-authored and presented a paper entitled: “Gaining Insights on Career Satisfaction for Women in Mining” in 2010, at a technical conference. A key component of this paper was collecting survey data from women working in all positions in mining, across Canada, in order to hear firsthand what leads to/inhibits career satisfaction for them.
In her personal time, she has a passion for horses and has completed several special interest courses through the Equine Sciences program at the University of Guelph. Her husband, Marc Boudreau, has been the rock in her life and remains her top supporter even with his own commitments as the President and CEO of BESTECH. Together, they have raised four incredible children – the eldest two (Amy and Eric) are pursuing Science and Engineering degrees like their parents – while the younger two (Kate and Miranda) are excelling through high school in a specialised science and technology education program.
About the Award: Candidates considered to receive the WIM Canada Trailblazer Award must be female and hold Canadian citizenship at the time of their accomplishments. However, candidates do not need to be a member of WIM Canada or a member of the WIM Branch sponsoring their nomination. In addition, the Trailblazer recognition can be awarded posthumously. Selection of the Trailblazer Award recipient is made by the Trailblazer Award Selection Committee.
Candidate achievements are in one or more of the Canadian Mining Industry sector categories below:
Prospecting and Exploration
Building a Mineral Industry Corporation
Mining and/or Mineral Processing Operations
Mineral Industry Education and Research
The selection committee also considers the nominee’s personal character, for example, leading by example, visionary thinking, sound business acumen and excellent mentoring skills.
WIM Canada is a national not-for-profit organization formed in 2009 and focuses on advancing the interests of women in the minerals exploration and mining sector. For more information, see www.wimcanada.org
Vale Canada Limited is one of Canada’s largest mining companies, with operations in Sudbury and Port Colborne, Ontario; Thompson, Manitoba and Voisey’s Bay and Long Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. Vale’s Base Metals business, with its headquarters in Toronto, is the world’s second largest nickel producer and a leading producer of copper, platinum group metals and cobalt. Vale in Canada has a community investment program that has helped fuel local and national initiatives, impacting the lives of thousands of Canadians.
Vale in Canada is part of Vale (NYSE: VALE), the world’s leading iron ore producer. Vale is also a leading producer of manganese, ferroalloys, thermal and coking coal, and fertilizer nutrients. For further information, please visit www.vale.com.
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