Jobs in Nevada’s mining community attract people from all walks of life, from all across the country and for a variety of reasons. Some people have a sense they are destined for a career in mining while others take a more indirect path that lands them unexpectedly in this great field.
As our “Meet Your Miners” series continues, we introduce you to Ginger Peppard, a senior environmental specialist from Silver Standard Resources who was pleasantly surprised to discover mining offered everything she wanted from a career.
When asked what motivated her to engage in an environmental career, Peppard recalled, “I always joke that it’s because I wrote ‘environmental science’ on my college application when asked what my interests were and never thought to change it along the way. But the truth is that I’ve always loved the outdoors and had a strong interest to work in the sciences.”
Peppard, who moved to Nevada from the California side of Lake Tahoe at just four years of age, considers herself a “Nevada girl.” She graduated from Galena High School in Reno and furthered her education at The University of Nevada-Reno, receiving her Bachelors of Science in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences with an emphasis in Cultural Ecology and a minor in Chemistry.
In her current position, Peppard is charged with managing a wide variety of areas from corporate social responsibility to air permitting. Peppard’s passion for the mining industry has led not only to her recent promotion, but also to a well-formed understanding of why she loves mining and how she has grown through her experiences in the industry.
“The technical side of science is a good fit for my personality; it requires being detail oriented but is always developing and growing, just as I like to do,” she said. “As my career has grown, I have been lucky enough to be mentored by some great bosses. They showed me that the people side of the business is just as important as the science and helped me grow my ‘softer’ skills.”
Having been in the industry for more than four years, Peppard was initially impressed by Goldcorp’s Creating Choices training program, in which she participated upon her move to the organization roughly three years ago. The program emphasizes personal attributes, building self-esteem, setting and achieving goals, using one’s voice and achieving a leader’s presence. Peppard admits that she has grown on a personal level because of her career, and she believes every woman, in the industry or not, would benefit from such an inspirational program.
When asked about opportunities for both her and other women in the industry, Peppard said, “I think the outlook for career opportunities in the mining industry for women is better than it has ever been. I’ve been able to meet other women in positions across the board from janitors to nurses to mine engineers and board members, and it’s given me so much hope about how women can succeed.
“When I went to school, I never even imagined I would, or even wanted to, work in the mining industry, but almost on a daily basis, my decision to enter mining has proven to be a beneficial experience for me. Wherever my career ends up taking me, I know the lessons I’ve learned by working in the mining industry, everything from the technical skills to management and people skills, will serve me well.”