Industry ramps up support on International Women’s Day

Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA) has reaffirmed its commitment to stamping out workplace sexual harassment as it progresses a dedicated national taskforce to the cause on International Women’s Day.

In the first quarter of this year, AMMA called for nominations to the Resources and Energy National Industry Taskforce on Workplace Sexual Harassment – a key outtake following the hosting of its highly successful National Forum on Workplace Sexual Harassment held across three sessions late last year.

“The National Industry Taskforce will drive accountability, new initiatives and cultural improvements needed for the sector to attract and retain more women,” AMMA chief executive officer Steve Knott said.

“Today resources and energy employers will celebrate the critically important role of women to the industry’s present and future success, but we know our industry still has many significant challenges to address in order to lift female representation.

“It was clear from the people professionals, managers and executives who came together for last year’s National Forum on Workplace Sexual Harassment, that employers have a relentless drive to stamp out abhorrent and inappropriate behaviours and cultures within their workplaces.

“While there are countless proactive measures and initiatives in place amongst individual employers to stamp out workplace sexual harassment, more must be done, and the industry is not resting on our laurels in dealing with this issue.”

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Tania Constable said International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.

“More and more women have chosen to make their careers in Australian mining. Over the last 15 years, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of female managers in the mining industry and it is expected many more will follow in the years to come,” she said.

“In 2016, BHP set its goal to achieve gender balance by 2025. Today, women make up the majority of managers on its executive leadership team.

“At Rio Tinto, 58 per cent of its 2021 graduate intake were women.”

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive officer Ian Macfarlane said its latest diversity and inclusion report shows 20 per cent of the state’s industry workforce is now female, with nine out of 10 women working in non-traditional roles such as engineering, trade and executive management positions.

“Automation and other emerging technologies are levelling the playing field for many traditionally male-dominated mining jobs, giving women better access to the outstanding financial and career development benefits our sector has to offer,” Macfarlane said.

“Our female workforce has grown by 53 per cent over the past six years, and we expect these numbers to continue to increase across our coal, metal and gas workforces as well as in our emerging critical minerals and renewable energy sectors.

“Our industry target is 30 per cent female participation by 2026, so we’ve got our work cut out for us, but the women already working in resources have demonstrated beyond a doubt how valuable they are to our industry’s bottom line.

“A more diverse workplace has been shown to increase productivity, improve workplace safety and contribute to a more positive and inclusive work culture.”

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