Rio Tinto’s Catriona Beadel is encouraging young people to build their careers in the mining industry

Young people can enjoy mining careers with Rio Tinto

Mining is an industry full of opportunities for young people looking to make their mark and build their careers. Principal Advisor of Rio Tinto Ventures, Catriona Beadel, shared some insights into why this is so at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC).


Why should young people consider a career in the mining industry?

Mining presents global opportunities, which are not necessarily the same for other industries. It is an incredibly high-tech industry – the use of technology is just incredible. It is an industry that really brings about social change by providing communities with the opportunity to make a life for themselves, and brings them out of poverty – certainly in developing nations. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of something that delivers on all those levels?

What expectations should a young person have when entering the mining industry?

A young person should expect an industry that is going to be fast-paced, where they can apply some innovative thinking to solve problems and challenges, and where their unique skill-set is highly valued. This is a mature industry and the people at the top don’t necessarily have the skills that will enable them to solve the problems facing the industry today. I think there is a great opportunity for the brightest minds to come in and really make their mark. The world is their oyster!

Do you think young people not involved in mining understand it? Should perceptions be changed?

I don’t think young people outside of the mining industry really do understand it at all. I think there is an incredibly negative narrative surrounding the industry and it is perpetuated by the media. There hasn’t been a positive message really that has pervaded the world about mining so I don’t blame them for thinking that way but it is certainly something that we need to change. How do we change it? Well, we need to get better at communication – let’s do more outreach, let’s get into schools early. In a world which is so connected and is so influenced by social media, we really should be able to find a way that we can change those pre-conceptions. It really is a very different industry to the one it is perceived to be.

How important are awards that recognise young talent in the mining industry?

I think, particularly for young people, having an award that they can look up to, and to have the opportunity to gain a platform in the industry, is a real incentive to encourage them into the sector. For one, it creates role models – they can look up to the award winners. And also it is the industry saying that ‘yes we recognise that while there is a lot to be said for experience, young people’s ideas and what they can achieve are also worthy of recognition’.

Join women like Catriona in mining at Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto offers graduate programs and apprenticeships for young people interested in the mining industry. It also offers an abundance of opportunities for experienced hires. Search and apply for your next career move now.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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