Two tradeswomen - Dani Drewek and Sarah Hunter – are among 12 women recognized as 2014 Influential Women of Northern Ontario Award winners.
Drewek, a 22-year-old Thunder Bay native, works as cage tender at Goldcorp's Red Lake Mine, where she started in 2012. Hunter is an electrician working underground for nickel-copper producer Vale in Sudbury, where she has worked since 2005.
The Awards program, run by Northern Ontario Business, a sister publication of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal, honours women executives, entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, Aboriginal leaders, tradeswomen and influential community trailblazers.
Drewek became interested in the mining industry while working in aviation maintenance with Wasaya Airways, which provides regular charter service between Thunder Bay and Goldcorp's Musselwhite Mine in northwestern Ontario. Drewek followed up this interest by getting her hard rock common core training in Sudbury.
Since 2005, Hunter has worked at three Vale underground mines and four surface plants. A graduate of the electrical engineering program at Cambrian College in Sudbury, she follows in the footsteps of her father, grandfather and stepfather, who all worked in the electrical field.
The Mining Industry Human Resource Council predicts the Canadian mining industry's hiring requirements will exceed 14,500 new workers each year over the next decade.
Females account for about 16 per cent of the mining workforce and are the largest underrepresented group in the sector.