AS a woman in a male-dominated workplace, Rebecca Caldwell acknowledges she is treated differently due to her gender.
"You get the impression the men speak differently to you than to each other [but] it's not patronising, I guess more polite - they have more awareness," says the 29-year training administrator at WesTrac's Tomago operational headquarters.
Sixteen per cent of workers at the plant - or 86 of a total staff of 637 - are women. The percentage mirrors Australian Bureaus of Statistics figures that show 16 per cent of mining workers nationally are women. In NSW, figures provided by the NSW Minerals Council show that 9.3 per cent of mining workers are women.
WesTrac will mark International Women's Day with a luncheon on Monday, citing its "strong diversity push" in its "traditionally male-dominated" business to change perceptions of women in industry and the current statistics of females in industry.
A spokesperson for WesTrac said the company had done a gender parity review in 2018 and had 'pay parity' across its business. It said initiatives to support greater diversity included the Rare Birds mentorship program for female leaders and its W@W program which supported female apprentices.
A goal had been set to reach an intake of more than 20 per cent in female apprentices (in technical trades) which had been achieved in the last two intakes. WesTrac was also developing a program "to develop career paths" for women.
Ms Caldwell did a business administration diploma and worked in in construction, finance and recruitment before taking on her role at WesTrac 12 months ago.
As an administrator for the company's registered training organisation, her role is to co-ordinate training for staff and customers, and includes teaching staff how to drive heavy machines on site. The majority of her immediate colleagues are women, and she says she hasn't faced gender bias in her day to day work.
"If I am interested in something I will put myself out there to get what I want," she says, "but if you are not a forward person you probably wouldn't get a look in."
Ms Caldwell says her work was often not justly recognised in previous positions but she is confident her desire to work in a training role out in the field is achievable.
"I told my manager a month ago that I'd be interested in training people how to drive machines and I am already doing it," she says.
For Amy McTiernan, who has worked as a safety, security and risk administrator at the Tomago site for three months ago, equality in the workplace is vital: "It's about being treated equally and recognised for our work, and we don't expect to be treated differently to males as far as our performance," she says.