Young Australian of the Year Marita Cheng addressed 110 teenage girls from across the Goldfields on Friday in a bid to inspire them to walk different career paths.
The 23-year-old engineer from Melbourne headlined the Girls and Guys Exploring Mining Forum as a guest of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, which says the number of women employed in the resource sector is 22 per cent.
It is still well below the national female participation rate across all industries of 42 per cent.
Ms Cheng is an engineer and the founder of Robogals Global, a student-run organisation which aims to increase female participation in engineering, science and technology through fun and educational activities.
“We want to show girls they can do engineering, but they can do anything in the world,” Ms Cheng said.
She presented Kalgoorlie’s Ashlee McKenna, a third-year mining engineering student at the WA School of Mines, with a special award for her efforts with the Robogals Rural and Regional program.