InvestMETS speaks with idoba CEO Sarah Coleman

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Sarah Coleman, idoba CEO
2022 Women in Industry Awards finalist

Perenti Global technology business, idoba, recently welcomed major Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corporation as an equity investor. CEO Sarah Coleman has spent more than a decade in mining technology business leadership roles after previously working with Rio Tinto.

She says she is passionate about helping to build a more diverse, inclusive mining industry.

“It means a lot to me that a couple of amazing women – who are equally worthy of recognition themselves – put their energy into my submission,” Coleman says of being recognised as a finalist in the 2022 Women in Industry Awards.

“We are all very proud and excited to see what we’re doing at idoba being recognised nationally.”

InvestMETS: You would be a mentor to many women in the mining sector, but more specifically the mining tech sector. What are your thoughts on how to get more women involved in this space? And who are your mentors?

Sarah Coleman: I am naturally drawn to mentoring and have a number of formal and informal mentoring arrangements with women working across a variety of tech roles – data science, industrial mathematics, tech leadership, software and app development.

But I also sit on the “other side of the table” too and know first-hand how much of my personal and professional growth has come about through my mentors educating, challenging, and supporting me over the years. I’m currently mentored by a wonderful man who has incredibly rich experience and perspective, having grown, scaled, and sold his own software business many years ago and is now an active leader in the tech space. He brings so much experience and perspective but also manages to create such a safe space for me to learn as well as unlearn. This is really important as it takes a lot of vulnerability for mentees to have their heads cracked open and to have their ideas, perspective, and internal narratives examined and challenged.

The other key mentoring relationship I have is with my team. idoba is a hugely diverse team, all passionate about co-creating a better future. The open, authentic, and approachable environment we’ve worked hard to maintain means that the whole team are mentored, educated, and stretched every day by the clever and creative people around us. But we recognise that’s not always easy to navigate so we have organisational psychologists and coaches in the team to help everyone – including me – along our journey to build an authentic and respectful high trust high performance team.

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