Per­cent­age of women in the WA re­sources in­dus­try sinks

Pilbara News - - Resources - Kate Emery

■ The per­cent­age of fe­male work­ers in WA’s re­sources in­dus­try is fall­ing, de­spite com­pa­nies do­ing more to at­tract and re­tain women.

Women in the sec­tor fell from 18.8 per cent to 17.8 per cent be­tween 2013 and 2015, a Cham­ber of Min­er­als and Energy re­port re­vealed last week.

In the same pe­riod, the per­cent­age of WA re­source com­pa­nies with ded­i­cated pro­grams aimed at en­cour­ag­ing women into the work­place and keep­ing them there rose sig­nif­i­cantly.

Of the 40 com­pa­nies that took part in CME’s bi­en­nial sur­vey, the per­cent­age con­duct­ing an­nual gen­der pay eq­uity au­dits rose from 42.6 per cent in 2013 to 62.5 per cent in 2015, and those with pro­grams to en­cour­age fe­male job ap­pli­cants rose from 40.4 per cent to 60 per cent and 40 per cent had fe­male re­cruit­ment tar­gets, up from 21.3 per cent.

One area where com­pa­nies seem to be go­ing back­wards is in the pro­vi­sion of child­care sup­port, in­clud­ing in-house fa­cil­i­ties, part­ner­ships with ex­ter­nal child­care groups or fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for em­ploy­ees. Be­tween 2013 and 2015 the per­cent­age of com­pa­nies of­fer­ing child­care sup­port fell from 17 to 10 per cent.

The CME re­port makes clear the per­cent­age of women in WA’s re­sources in­dus­try has changed lit­tle since 2008, hav­ing fluc­tu­ated be­tween 17.4 per cent and 21.6 per cent in that time. Women ac­count for 44 per cent of the wider work­force. The na­tional fe­male par­tic­i­pa­tion rate in re­sources is even lower at 12.9 per cent.

The com­pa­nies sur­veyed for the CME re­port ac­counted for 52,750 em­ploy­ees, or about half the sec­tor.

CME chief ex­ec­u­tive Reg HowardSmith said the fig­ures showed women were still sig­nif­i­cantly un­der-rep­re­sented But given the ex­tent of the in­dus­try down­turn, it was re­as­sur­ing the drop had not been big­ger.

Most women were em­ployed in man­age­ment, cler­i­cal po­si­tions and ad­min­is­tra­tion — ar­eas hit hard by the min­ing down­turn.

“It was pleas­ing to see the per­cent­age of fe­male tech­ni­cians, ma­chine op­er­a­tor and trades­peo­ple ac­tu­ally in­creas­ing,” he said.

“In pos­i­tive signs for the fu­ture, 26 per cent of ap­pren­tices, trainees and grad­u­ates are fe­male, an in­crease since 2013.”

Pic­ture: Kelly Bell

The num­ber of women em­ployed in the re­sources sec­tor is fall­ing, de­spite many com­pa­nies do­ing more to at­tract and re­tain women in their work­forces.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.