Jordan Rutledge_Area Sales Manager Australia_TOMRA Mining
Press release

Women in mining - Interview with Jordan Rutledge

In the Mining industry, men still far outnumber women, but the tide is turning. At TOMRA Mining, Women like Jordan Rutledge, are making their mark across our organization, and they have an interesting story to tell!

Meet Jordan Rutledge

We asked Jordan Rutledge about her current position at TOMRA Mining and her experience in the mining industry. “I work as an Area Sales Manager in Australia covering Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia. I am the primary point of contact for new customers, helping them navigate from the initial test work phase with our test center teams to the delivery of the sorters on their site. My role is to essentially spread the word and show how our products can be used to not only generate economic value for mine sites, but environmental value as well.” 

Jordan didn’t plan for a career in Mining: “It was luck, chance or fate, perhaps a combination of all three. No one in my family had a background in mining, and I had never really given it any thought until I arrived at the Colorado School of Mines where I did my university studies. I found a tight knit community with strong ties to an industry that allowed for hands on experience and travel. I was hooked.”

With a BS and MS in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering under her belt, Jordan entered the mining sector and found that she made the right choice: “Mining is such a small community, almost like a family. It’s incredible to have moved from my home in Colorado, USA 10,000 miles away to Perth, Australia and have friends and connections before getting of the airplane. While mining can often carry a negative connotation, I’m proud of be a part of an industry that is front and center in the decarbonization and electrification efforts.”

Jordan with donkey
On the day she defended her Masters thesis, Jordan takes the time to pose with the statue of the miner’s best friend, the donkey.

Mining is such a small community, almost like a family. It’s incredible to have moved from my home in Colorado, USA 10,000 miles away to Perth, Australia and have friends and connections before getting of the airplane. 

Jordan Rutledge_Area Sales Manager Australia_TOMRA Mining
Jordan Ruthledge Area Sales Manager, Australia

However, her life in mining hasn’t been without challenges: “I’m incredibly lucky to have had fiercely loyal male and female advisors, bosses, and coworkers who have made my time in the mining industry a joy. I’ve been fortunate to not have too many blatantly negative experiences or discrimination. The things I’ve noticed are more subtle, the small underestimations of my skill or worth. Often when meeting new people, they expect me to be from marketing but are shocked to find out that I have technical degrees and training. I’ve had comments when receiving a professional award, new job, or recognition that the reason it was awarded/given to me was primarily because I was a woman. As more women enter the industry these challenges are sure to diminish.” 

But the situation is evolving: “I definitely have seen a shift towards inclusion and embracing the roles that women can play in the mining industry. I think, like many professions in science and engineering, retaining women in the workforce can be a challenge. And when there are not enough visible women leaders in industry, this presents a challenge for younger girls to envision a career in mining.”

“Women only account for a small percentage of the mining industry workforce at this time (less than 20% globally). There’s so much untapped potential from every corner of the industry from operators on the ground to the C-level executives. Mining jobs are often high paying, in comparison to other industries and work, and have potential for learning valuable skills and growth. There’s been many studies proving that more diverse teams produce better innovation and financial gains. Women have a critical role to play in the industry.” 

Jordan with alpakas
Jordan near the mines in La Oroya region during her first working visit to Peru.
Jordan still TOMRA brand story
Jordan in the TOMRA Mining brand story video