Women In Mining BC: Annual Cocktail Reception 2017

Organizing group of WIM BC 2017 Cocktail Reception – and me


Speaking to a very attentive audience

It was such a pleasure to speak to the Women in Mining BC group on Thursday, May 17th in the lovely Pan Pacific Hotel. When I practiced mining and securities law, it was a heads-down, get-the-job-done approach and I never joined this group. I now understand what I missed as the camaraderie and support in the group is tremendous.

The organizer of the annual cocktail event asked me if I could share some inspiring words in my role as the evening’s key-note speaker.

The speech was tough to write; it that took me into an area that was difficult to share. I had taken time out to raise my young family and at the age of 50 returned to the practice of law, only to find that the securities field had changed radically, and was much more complex and stressful. I did not find law easy as I juggled a busy family and a demanding practice.

At one point, in addition to caring for my children, my husband was battling cancer. But the work never let up. I remember one day trying to explain to a client that this was why I had been unable to finish a task on time. The client interrupted me, saying, “I don’t want to hear it.” The client’s work was the only thing that was important.

And although my experience started back in the 1970s, from the many women who told me how much my words had resonated with them, it is clear that much has not changed. Women are still fighting to gain acceptance in the mining industry. The message could not have been clearer when I looked at a company’s website. In the long list of managers and directors, there was only one woman.

While women have achieved so much, we have still a long way to go. Men need to be our partners in this journey. It was very encouraging to see so many men present at the event.

Some comments from the Women in Mining attendees:

  • Thank you for a wonderful talk. We continue to have people provide positive feedback on your talk. Wonderful!
  • I cannot thank you enough for being our guest speaker and doing an amazing job at it.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed your speech, it resonated with so many of us and then to be able to speak with you afterwards was wonderful!

Author: Patricia Sandberg

A former mining and securities lawyer, Patricia relied on her family’s history and interviews of over 150 people to write about the Cold War uranium mining town in Northern Canada that residents said was ‘the best place they ever lived’. She is now working on a novel. Sun Dogs and Yellowcake has won two international awards, was shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Fred Kerner award, and was finalist for Whistler Independent Book Awards 2017.

Love to hear your thoughts!