Employees from Freeport-McMoRan's Southern Arizona sites help relaunch the Arizona Chapter of Women in Mining.

March 27, 2019

Women in Mining, a national organization dedicated to supporting women in the mining industry, is relaunching its Arizona Chapter with a little help from some Southern Arizona employees. 

Radha KC, Senior Mine Engineer-Sierrita, and Suzanne Anderson, Senior Supervisor Technical Training-Mine Training Institute, along with other industry professionals, are working to advance the mission of the restructured WIM Arizona Chapter, which will hold its inaugural event on March 29 in Tucson, Ariz.

The goal – to attract, retain and advance women in mining, as well as educate members and the public on various aspects of mining. 

"Our mission is to empower the future leaders of mining through professional development activities such as skill-building workshops and mentoring and create a support system where we can share our experiences and encourage each other," said Rosa Maria Rojas, WMI Arizona Chapter president and former Morenci employee.   

Historically, women have been underrepresented in mining and account for only 13 percent of all workers in the industry today, according to a November 2017 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.  

The Arizona Chapter, which originally formed in 1984 but closed shortly after because of downsizing in the mining sector, wants to move the needle and encourage the next generation of women in mining, KC said.  

The inaugural eventin Tucson will kick things off and will feature several guest speakers, including the company's own Brittany Varela, Operations Manager-Tyrone.  

Other activities for 2019 include quarterly networking and professional development events as well as awarding student scholarships. Currently, 21 Freeport-McMoRan employees are registered members. 

For those outside Arizona, Women in Mining has chapters in other states, including Colorado, and always is looking to grow. Check out the WIM website for details. 

The company also is a sponsor of Women in Mining's annual meeting, which will take place April 25-27 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. The three-day event offers a mix of panel discussions, speakers, workshops and even a tour of the Climax mine. 

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