Beyond the Mine: Caterpillar's Commitment

This week, talented females from G20 countries came together at the G(irls)20 Summit to discuss ideas for improving the growth of communities, countries and companies. This summit will help pave the way for a new generation of female leaders, and Caterpillar is excited to be a part of it.

Caterpillar will be participating in a panel focused on technology as an accelerator of change for women, particularly in the fields of high tech, oil and gas, and mining. In an ever-evolving world of instant communication, we can easily see the consumer changes in technology, and the same changes are true for mining.

Caterpillar is a company of personal relationships, and we are rapidly responding to the developing world, resulting in increased global demands from our customers. World development and a rise in urbanization are driving sustained dependence on minerals, metals and energy, making the demand for mined materials greater than at any other time in history. You may be asking -- how are we going to meet that demand? At Caterpillar, our technology and our people are our solutions.

Here's an example -- in our underground mining equipment, we offer an integrated mining technology, MINEGEM. This technology allows operators to safely work in underground mines by controlling machines from an operator station, which can be situated in a fixed location on the surface or underground. This helps reduce operator fatigue and reduces or eliminates the need for underground travel. This technology also allows our clients to operate in mines that might otherwise be difficult to maneuver.

Our people also ensure we meet our customer demands. When you think about what makes up a great company, it's the diversity of thought, expertise and backgrounds of our employees that allow us to deliver to a diverse group of customers. And, introducing women to the mining industry is one part of this diversity equation.

Some say that mining is a male-dominated industry. However, more and more women are becoming leaders in mining operations. Mining is simply the extraction of a mineral from the ground -- an environment for any individual that can determine how to do this most efficiently. There's a lot of misconception about mining, but its components are straight-forward -- math, science and people.

Caterpillar is focused on raising more awareness of the actual jobs in the industry and the value we get from diverse perspectives. Education around mining outside of the mere extraction of minerals is essential. This starts with the awareness of mining jobs, both skills needed and potential mining careers. We do this through our investments and relationships with mining schools, mining coalitions and educational programs. It's one of our goals for women to thoroughly understand career options in mining.

Wherever I go in the mining world, I see our people and equipment building and supporting products and most importantly, helping our customers. Through our technologies and diverse people, Caterpillar will meet the needs of the growing population, ensuring we are continually mining for success.

STEM Stories: The Faces Of Women In Technology

Chris Curfman is the Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Mining Sales & Support Division in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. He oversees a team of general managers with broad, regional commercial responsibility.