Female diversity, inclusion shows room for improvement

Image: Alcoa

An Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) survey on women in mining shows that support for women is still needed in the industry.

The data found seven times more women saw diversity and inclusion as a priority when compared with their male counterparts.

Over 57 per cent of female respondents indicated they did not perceive the industry as diverse, and over 40 per cent did not perceive the industry as inclusive.

Of the 21 per cent of women who indicated they held a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) role in the sector, five times as many women indicated that health care services were below average when compared with their male counterparts.

The survey, launched as part of AusIMM’s International Women’s Day Series in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, compared answers given by women in February this year to those provided by men late last year.

It involved 600 participants where 97 per cent of which held a bachelor’s degree of higher, which was representative of a highly skilled and capable workforce.

However, the data recognised women’s participation was slowly increasing and gender pay gap in the industry shrinking.

In fact, gender pay gap in mining was rated at 10.6 per cent compared with 16.2 per cent in other industries last year, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

A few mining and mining services companies – Alcoa, Aurecon and GHD Services – were recognised as WGEA employers of choice for gender equality 2018–2019 for making continued progress in promoting gender equality.

“Our EOCGE citation does not signify that these employers have solved all of their gender equality issues. Rather, it recognises that they have embraced a rigorous and detailed program to transform their workplaces,” WGEA director Libby Lyons said.

“These leading employers know the importance of achieving gender equality for their employees and for their business and are implementing leading-practice measures to do so.”

To overcome female challenges in the industry, female survey participants indicated the three most important areas of focus were equal employment opportunities, flexible workplaces and an increase in industry leadership.

“AusIMM recognises that we have challenges in our industry when it comes to diversity and inclusion. The numbers make that clear,” AusIMM chief executive Stephen Durkin said.

“We’re focusing on our own strategies and policies at AusIMM so that we can lead by example. We are taking real steps to be a more contemporary, welcoming and future-focused organisation.”

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