Born and bred in France, Virginie Hannah could never have imagined she would be a Women in Resources finalist for a job not in her mother tongue.
The CME Women in Resources Awards (WIRA) recognises the power of gender diversity in the WA mining and resources sector, and highlights the significant efforts of individuals and companies to continue progress in this area.
Ms Hannah, who is a Halls Head resident, was "shocked and chuffed" at being named an Outstanding Women in Resources Technological Innovation Award finalist.
For her, the award was a recognition of the last 25 years of her career.
"I still find it quite hard to believe I've achieved what I have and not in my mother tongue, not in my home country and not in an industry where years ago I knew little about," she said.
"I have a group of girlfriends that I work with that are highly supportive and probably even more excited than I am.
"It's such a warm feeling to be supported by other women."
Working as a BIS Industries general manager for procurement, supply and manufacturing Ms Hannah wears many hats.
In mainly the innovation space, Ms Hannah is in charge of the manufacturing of new equipment such as haulage trucks.
Although the role keeps her busy, she likes it that way.
"No day is the same - I have been lucky to be able to have a broad portfolio which ticked my boxes in regards to diversity," she said.
"I have three different locations I look after so one day I can be wearing hi-vis and the next I'm in corporate attire."
Despite loving her job, working in a male-dominated industry can be difficult.
For Ms Hannah, her credibility is often questioned just because she is a woman.
"The problems are rooted in unconscious bias which is the hardest to shift," she said.
"Biases against me just because I'm a woman is a weekly occurrence.
"The good thing is that it's getting spotted by men in the industry - my male staff have highlighted to me in the past that my job would be a lot easier if I was a man."
Ms Hannah also made mention that out of her team of 30 only three were women.
She said the awards were fantastic to highlight the role women play in the resources industry, however, there was still a lot of progress to make.
Moving to Mandurah 17 years ago with her husband, Ms Hannah says it is where she recharges her batteries.
"We moved straight to Mandurah when we came to Australia and I will retire here," she said.
"I commute to Perth everyday for work just because Mandurah is the best place on the planet."
The 2022 WIRA presentation dinner will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on April 1.
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