In­dus­try keen to close gen­der gap

Central and North Burnett Times - - WOMEN IN MINING - Emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

WHEN Goondicum Re­sources ad­ver­tises a new job open­ing at its Monto mine, CEO Mark McCauley re­ceives one woman ap­pli­cant to ev­ery 10 men.

Its work­force is made up of about 12% women, which re­flects trends across all of Australia’s min­ing in­dus­try.

“There’s a com­bi­na­tion of sev­eral fac­tors that are keep­ing women out of min­ing,” Mr McCauley said.

“Firstly, tra­di­tion. And se­condly the lack of ed­u­ca­tion in the min­ing in­dus­try about the benefits of an equal op­por­tu­nity work­force.”

Ap­pli­ca­tions from women for op­er­a­tor roles like pro­cess­ing work and driv­ing ma­chin­ery are the most scarcely seen while ad­min­is­tra­tion, pro­fes­sional and tech­ni­cal roles were slightly more popular.

“Th­ese roles are still skewed to­wards the males,” Mr McCauley said.

“More could be done to get women into the work­force but one thing we are see­ing is more en­rolled in en­gi­neer­ing de­grees.”

Aus­tralian Mines and Met­als As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of in­dus­try ser­vices Tara Di­a­mond said the aim was to have 25% of the Aus­tralian min­ing work­force made up of women by 2020.

“It’s very en­cour­ag­ing to see that in the last quar­ter, while this tran­si­tion (from many mines’ con­struc­tion to pro­duc­tion phase) is on­go­ing, the num­ber of women work­ing in the re­source in­dus­try has risen by 4500,” she said.

She said more young women needed to be en­cour­aged in the class­room to have a go in what had al­ways been a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try.

Men­tor­ing and sup­port ser­vices for women have also helped close the gen­der gap in some of Australia’s large min­ing op­er­a­tions.

Mrs Di­a­mond said that to at­tract more women em­ploy­ees, in­dus­try em­ploy­ers had moved in leaps and bounds, im­ple­ment­ing ini­tia­tives such as paid parental leave schemes, flex­i­ble fam­ily-friendly rosters and things such as on-site child care fa­cil­i­ties.

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