2020 marks Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy’s (QMEA) fourteenth year of their Resources Awards for Women; an initiative to celebrate and acknowledge women working in the resources sector. This January, QMEA Ambassador and Year 12 student, Bailey S was named as a finalist in the Exceptional Female QMEA Student category. Nominated alongside three other Queensland students, Bailey said she was proud to be a finalist.

“Being a finalist for this award was important to me as it allowed me to further contribute to gender equality in an important industry within Australia - or any industry with a gender imbalance,” Bailey said. 

“I believe it is important for everyone to pursue their interests regardless of their sexuality,” she said. 

In a media release by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) revealing the finalists, QRC Chief Executive, Mr Ian Macfarlane said the awards play a pivotal role in the sector’s efforts to bring better gender balance to the workforce.

“Over the past thirteen years since the introduction of our Women in Resources Action Plan, the proportion of women working in non-traditional roles in our sector in Queensland has more than doubled to 14% (from 6% in 2006) in our latest survey of members,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Overall women make up 16.4% of our workforce, and since 2015, the number in our sector has grown 22%,” she said. 

Inspired by the impact of the resources and mining industry on everyday life, Bailey said she is particularly interested in making a difference in optimising the collection of materials through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). 

“After graduating from Somerville House, I plan to go straight into university to study pure mathematics and computer science, hopefully ending up in a Masters or PhD researching something to do with AI. After that, I hope to be an Artificial Intelligence Engineer,” Bailey said. 

“I can see AI being integrated into the resources and mining industry in many ways, including the safety of mining employees, automated vehicles, optimisation of tunnels for maximum mineral collection and drone development,” she said. 

“I believe it is important to find a balance between the world’s needs and environmental responsibility.”