When Barb Filas got her start in the business, she was hand-drafting documents and using a mimeograph machine to crank out copies for permitting. There were precious few women in mining engineering and none in a mining leadership position.
"It was certainly a different time," said Filas. "Back when I was in school, a woman in the industry was very much an anomaly."
Filas was one of the first few women to graduate from the mining engineering program at the University of Arizona. She collected her diploma in 1978 and followed her grandfather and father into mining. In her 35-year climb from the Illinois coal mines to the boardroom of a global mining firm, she has seen more change than she ever imagined.