Inclusion and diversity are important for the extractive industry

Inclusion and diversity are important for the extractive industry

One could think that a person’s inherent fascination for nature could not support a cognitive decision to be actively engaged in the extractive sector. But not Leonie Van der Voort; a biologist by degree, who is a Board Member and the Treasurer of UEPG (European Aggregates Association) and Director of Cascade, the Dutch aggregates association. According to Leonie, mineral extraction can be combined with nature development, water safety and recreation. As regards work-life balance, Leonie strongly supports that motherhood and a demanding schedule can be combined, as long as the work environment supports flexibility.

Q.: The extractive sector is a particularly demanding professional area with a profile that supports modern technological trends yet, identified more by its conservative structure in terms of administration and operations. How/why did you choose this sector as a career path?

Leonie van der Voort:  As someone like me with a background and degree in Biology, the opportunities that this sector offers for nature, biodiversity, but also water safety through the expansion of rivers are a fascinating and interesting field of work. To be director of Cascade, the Dutch Aggregates Association, is because of this, a pleasure and an honor.

Q.: Tell us a little about your experience as a professional in the extractive sector. What challenge(s) have you encountered, hitherto, in your work environment?

Leonie van der Voort: I am a "beta" person, I base my opinions and views on facts and figures, proper research is always my starting point. I have to deal with politicians, journalists who rely on emotion and frames created by others. Dealing with this is a huge challenge.

Q.: What we acknowledge and welcome in recent years, is an attempt of the mining industry to set up a direct and meaningful communication channel with the modern societies that are more aware of the sector's pros and cons. In this context, albeit at a gradual pace, women are entrusted with executive level jobs. What are your thoughts about inclusion and diversity in the mining environment?

Leonie van der Voort: Inclusion and diversity is important everywhere, so also in the mining environment. I am very happy to see more and more women come into our industry, but also we have to attract more young people.

Why more women? The founder of a big online store stated: «If you want to make a company bigger, you need men. If you want to make it better, you need women. Do you want to make a business at its best? Then you need both.»

Why more young people? They are aware of the very latest developments and possibilities in their field. Moreover, they grew up with new technologies and are completely up-to-date with all new online options and social media. In this way they make an important contribution to strengthening the competitive position of our members and the association.

«If you want to make a company bigger, you need men. If you want to make it better, you need women. Do you want to make a business at its best? Then you need both

Q.: What are the «critical raw materials» for a woman in this sector to maintain the difficult but essential work-life balance?

Leonie van der Voort: The work is demanding, certainly not a 9.00 to 17.00 job. While, in my case, I also like to have time for my family with two daughters growing up. I strongly believe that work can easily be combined with the family, but flexibility in the place and time of the working hours is an absolute necessity.


Leonie was born in 1967 in a small town in the Dutch countryside, grew up with a fascination for nature. She studied biology at the Wageningen University, complex ecosystems in water and tropical forests were major interests. After working in scientific research for a couple of years, a career switch to the central Dutch government in The Hague was made. Biodiversity and environmental issues in the department of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries were the core business.

In 2010, she started working as director of Cascade, the Dutch aggregates association, whose 18 member companies account for 90% of the almost 40 million tonnes of high-quality aggregates produced on land and riversides in The Netherlands each year. In 2015 she joined the board of UEPG in 2015 and since 2018 she is the treasurer of UEPG (the European Aggregates Association).


Απαγορεύεται ρητώς η αναπαραγωγή ή αναδημοσίευση, μερική ή ολική, του εν λόγω περιεχομένου. Το RAWMATHUB.GR διατηρεί το αποκλειστικό δικαίωμα δημοσίευσης και παροχής αδειών αναδημοσίευσης κατόπιν έγγραφης άδειας, επιφυλασσόμενο για την άσκηση κάθε νόμιμου δικαιώματος του. Εφόσον επιθυμείτε να χρησιμοποιήσετε το περιεχόμενο, παρακαλούμε επικοινωνήστε μαζί μας στο Αυτή η διεύθυνση Email προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.. 

foolwo on Google News

Έγκυρη ενημέρωση για την αξιακή αλυσίδα των raw materials