17 September 2019 – Rotorua’s Sean Keaney has won a global OPEN award from WING (Women in Geothermal), a US-based organisation that promotes the advancement of women in the international geothermal community.

Sean was surprised to win the award, that celebrated his promotion of the WING (Women in Geothermal) core values.

WING’s goals are to bring diversity into the heavily male-dominant sector of geothermal engineering and science. WINGman is a key initiative of WING, a way for men in geothermal teams to support and empower the women in their teams. Sean has been a WINGman Special Task Force member from the beginning: challenging business-as-usual attitudes and ensuring that diversity and inclusion is an integral part of his management style.

Aimee Calibugan, a project geologist who works with Sean, says: “We are all so pleased that Sean has won this award. He is an all-round open, honest and caring person who represents exactly what a WINGman should be.”

Typical of his low-key approach, Sean plays down his award. “I think I’m no different than a lot of other managers and people in Mercury who have a decent moral compass: a lot of us try and do the right thing and advocate that everyone gets a fair go right across the diversity spectrum,” says Sean.

The award will be made at a ceremony at the Geothermal Resource Council Annual Meeting & Expo in California on Tuesday 17 September. Sean’s is one of only four awards from the global nomination process. It’s an honour that he’ll be proud to share with the rest of the WING team in Rotorua at Mercury’s base on Vaughan Road.

“Sean has supported the women he works with in their careers at Mercury and pushed to make sure that gender equality is front and centre in the minds of his colleagues,” says Andrea Blair, a New Zealand-based Director at the International Geothermal Association, who will accept the award on Sean’s behalf.

“I’m so stoked that Sean is being recognised for his efforts,” says Andrea. “His steady influence in the workplace within Mercury and with contractors is walking the talk, and really making a difference.”


Sean is a local man who attended Edmund Rice College (now John Paul College) and lives in Rotorua with his family. He has worked for Mercury’s geothermal operations since 2009. ENDS

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