5 Mar 2024

Dana’s journey digging for change

4 minutes read

Dana Campbell on-site at Eagle's Nest

Dana Campbell, a passionate, trailblazing geologist from Wyloo’s Ring of Fire team, is paving the way for women in mining.

In recognition of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2024, Dana explains her journey to where she is today and the simple things the mining industry can do to empower women in the field.

As Project Geologist at our Esker site and Thunder Bay office, Dana’s day-to-day is highly varied with work taking her across Ontario’s Ring of Fire region.

“I participate in geology-related research and activities to define prospective targets in and around the Ring of Fire. Part of my job is being dropped off in the wilderness and traversing to collect samples or map geology,” Dana said.

“I love that I get to travel to remote areas and explore for work – it’s difficult to describe how peaceful the feeling of complete silence, calm stillness, and a cool breeze is in the middle of the wilderness.”

Dana’s foray into geology, inspired by her dad, came after she realised her initial career choice in music – a vastly different industry to earth sciences – wasn’t what she wanted to pursue professionally.

“I quickly decided music was something I wanted to do in my own time versus something I wanted career-wise,” she said.

“Geology caught my eye because my dad had been a prospector for years. When I started my geology course, I excelled academically and really enjoyed it, so I decided to pursue it.”

When talking of her experience as a woman in mining, Dana said there have been challenges with underrepresentation.

“I, along with many women in the mining industry, have been in the situation where less than three per cent of the workforce are women, or I’m the only woman at a mine site,” she said.

“It’s a battle to explain how my experience has been different to the experiences of men in the same position as me and to advocate for that recognition or acknowledgement.”

To help women feel comfortable, welcome and valued in mining, it’s vital to treat them as part of the team, not as a token, explained Dana.

“In my position [at Wyloo], I’m treated like I’m the project geologist, not just some woman at site. I’ve received more respect and trust than any previous role and I believe a large part of that comes from the diversity at site,” she said.

“For example, I don’t have to stay in a designated bunk for women or share with someone just because we are the only women on site. I can stay in the geologist cabin because I’m a part of the geology team and I’m treated equally. This should be the norm.”

She said investing in women through small, yet significant, changes, will help boost representation of women in mining.

“We need to ensure that we recognise the barriers and challenges women face in the industry, particularly the additional challenges faced by women of colour, Indigenous women, and 2SLGBTQIA+ women,” she said.

“We also need to take steps to engage with the right organisations and have initiatives that incentivise women of all professions to be involved in mining. If we can recruit more women by showing them that their voices will be heard, their efforts will be valued, and their safety will be prioritised, retention and representation will follow.

“It is essential to invest in women in our communities – by investing in women we can uplift them and increase the number of women across mining in different roles.”

Like many women in mining, Dana is making incredible contributions to the industry and is paving the way for future generations of geologists and beyond. She recently participated in the Ontario Winter Games sharing her experiences as a geologist and presented at the Women in Mining Night Scholarship Night in Thunder Bay.

Dana is currently one of two women in our Thunder Bay office and the only woman at our Esker site. We are committed to increasing representation across our workforce and to becoming leaders of gender equality across the broader industry.

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate and recognise the achievements of and contributions that women have made to our values-driven culture and the future of Wyloo and our communities.