A YOUNG Moranbah engineer has been recognised for her swift rise up the career ladder, and for encouraging more women to follow in her footsteps.
Nikhat (Nikki) Nagin, who is a principal engineer for BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, received the prestigious Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources Award.
The award was presented in Brisbane by Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Grace Grace, Queensland Resources Council president Rag Udd and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland chair Maria Joyce before a statewide audience of almost 900 people.
They were attending, or viewing live via webcast, the annual QRC/WIMARQ International Women's Day Breakfast and Resources Awards for Women presentation, hosted by BHP Billiton.
Nikki, who came to Australia from Fiji when she was 16, was determined to become an engineer, despite her grandmother telling her it was a job for men, and later being told by a boss that she'd have to work twice as hard as the men to be successful.
"That particular manager became a bit of an informal mentor and provided me with a lot of support," said Nikki,
"My parents have been very supportive including my dad visiting me at Olympic Dam on site and being allowed to go underground.
"Being a lawyer, this was very exciting for him, and now he doesn't think I carry a pickaxe to work."
Nikki is currently studying for a Master in Project Management majoring in Global Project Design at the University of Sydney.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane congratulated all the winners in this year's awards.
"These awards celebrate and showcase the depth of female talent in Queensland's resources sector, and provides industry with ambassadors and mentors, particularly for their female colleagues and women and students thinking about entering the resources sector," he said.
"Diverse workforces, just like safe workforces, are more productive, innovative and profitable.
"Particularly in hard times, our sector needs to ramp up productivity and innovation, and it's well documented that these go hand-in-hand with employing people from different backgrounds, cultures and genders.
"The attendance at eight separate functions around the state to witness the presentation of these awards is a clear demonstration of our sector's continued commitment to its goal of at least 20 per cent women in non-traditional roles by 2020."
The awards have been presented by QRC and WIMARQ since 2006.
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