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International Women's Day 2020 - We Talk Mining With Kate McCormick

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07 March 2020

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The 8th of March is the celebration of International Women’s Day. The 2020 theme is #EachforEqual - an equal world is an enabled world, and you can read more about this by visiting internationalwomensday.com.

At CDE we are fortunate to have a great team of women and men that continually drive our business forward and work on the company’s sustainability driven purpose. To celebrate diversity and culture here at CDE on International Women’s Day we caught up with Kate McCormick, Mining Sector Executive at CDE.

What is your role at CDE and your typical day?

I work in international business development for CDE’s mining sector. Day to day this means wearing many hats, from sales and marketing to pursuing research and development opportunities for our mining solutions. But you will mostly find me with clients – or trying to secure new ones.

There is no such thing as a typical day in this job. Today, I’m in Phoenix, Arizona and have been catching up on e-mails, arranging meetings, prepping for our next exhibition and trying to cram in some mineral deposit revision for my Masters. The remainder of the day will be spent developing our mining network in North America, before dinner tonight with soon-to-be clients (hopefully!).

I have been lucky to travel the world with CDE and every trip brings a new highlight. Sometimes that is as simple as perfectly roasted coffee in Brazil (I don’t even drink coffee in Ireland), or jumping in a hire car to drive the Great Ocean Road in Australia during a few days off-duty.

Meeting new people and experiencing new places is what makes me tick. The mining industry is diverse, and I have made extraordinary friends from all walks of life who have welcomed me into their homes, allowed me to experience their cultures, and shared unrepeatable stories.

When did you join CDE?

I joined CDE in January 2016 and started as a “Business Intern”. In fact, I had already completed a graduate management programme in my first employment following university, but the opportunity to work with the CDE Board on strategy implementation and execution seemed too good to miss. I had access to the entire business, serviced all our customer inward visits and worked on important strategic projects. Inevitably, I also made a lot of coffees.

Then in 2018 when the decision was made to formalise and grow CDE’s mining sector I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do. The mining industry is fascinating, and there is vast opportunity for CDE’s approach to sustainable processing to make an impact, so I was excited to join forces with Adam Holland, our Sector Head, to make this happen.

Believe it or not, I studied a BSc Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast as an undergraduate. I also have a Lean Black Belt, a level 5 cert in Leadership and Management, and I’m currently studying part-time for a Professional MSc in Mining Engineering at Camborne School of Mines.  

What does 2020 have in store for you?

The next few months will see continued travel to meet potential customers, with trips to Brazil, North America, Australia and Chile already in the calendar.

This year my key focus is the progression of CDE’s mining market in North America. To date, CDE’s mining portfolio has been largely dominated by southern hemisphere countries, so it’s time to even out the map.

With that in mind, you will find me at the CIM Convention in Vancouver from 3rd - 6th May, and MINExpo in Las Vegas from 28th-30th September. I’m also hoping to get to Donegal (Ireland) at some stage, for a few days off the radar. 

You recently spoke at PDAC 2020 in Canada. Can you tell us a bit about this experience?

This was my first panel experience at an international mining conference. Previously I have delivered keynote presentations on international stages, but this is arguably easier as you know what’s in store. The panel session was entitled “Risky business? Mining and the Environment?” and it provided a fantastic platform to discuss CDE’s unique approach to sustainable minerals processing.

The mining industry is going through a period of significant change due to heightened risk from climate change and managing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors which take precedence in securing investment funds and social license to operate.

Where there is change there is an opportunity, and CDE delivers first-of-kind solutions to complex mining problems which help to minimise waste and protect the environment while creating new revenue streams for our customers. This is a crucial time for the industry as we seek to carve a more sustainable future, and it’s an exciting space to be part of.

What advice would you have for women pursuing a career in mining?

#EachforEqual is the theme for International Women’s Day. True to that, and regardless of gender or industry sector, a few things that have helped me along the way are as follows:

1. Surround yourself with people who believe in you:

Find people who will champion you and accept their support willingly. People often talk about mentors. I don’t believe in formal mentors, as this too often becomes someone you are trying to impress. A true mentor is someone you connect with, can be totally honest with about your failures, and your successes, and who will add value by opening doors for you. It’s up to you to make it happen from there. 

2. Take on the difficult tasks:

Volunteer for the difficult tasks that are vital to the business. The small team, tough role opportunities. If you succeed in these you will get noticed and progress quickly. On that note, I think it’s important to have a firm conviction of what is right and wrong in business but also to be nice. Have a tough core and inner resilience but be approachable. You need to influence people, not terrify them!

3. Start now:

Don’t wait until you are ready. I think women, in particular, are guilty of trying to be too perfect. The time to start is now.

At CDE our vision is to be the number one wet processing equipment company in every country in the world. It's a big ambition - and one that will only be realised if we continue to build our global team by adding ambitious, driven and talented people.

We will challenge you, uplift you and broaden your horizons. If you would like to discover career opportunities with CDE check out our latest vacancies.

Watch the video below to learn more about our industry-leading wet processing solutions.

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