Gender diversity grows at ‘slower than preferred rate’

Gregory Crinum

Gender diversity in the mining sector has increased by just 1 per cent in the past year, according to Workplace Gender Equality Agency data.

WGEA’s 2019-20 gender equality scorecard showed that women accounted for 18 per cent of all employees within the sector, a small rise from 17 per cent in 2018-19.

The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) stated while this was a “slower than preferred rate” for the desired level of growth, the organisation would continue to support employers in increasing their female representation.

“Many employers have developed industry-leading policies and initiatives to attract and develop women into the resources and energy industry,” AMMA’s director operations Tara Diamond said.

“This includes expanded paid parental leave, initiatives to progress more women into leadership positions and job re-design, just to name a few.”

AMMA is targeting future diversity growth and industry skills with its Bright Future science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) primary school program.

It aims to break down gender stereotypes by showing inspirational STEM professionals to primary school students and linking STEM subjects to job prospects in the resources and energy sector.

“We are incredibly proud of the response and engagement as we continue rolling out the Bright Future STEM program to thousands of school kids across the country,” Diamond said.

Australia’s women in mining have also received recognition, with 11 Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) members snagging a spot on the Women in Mining United Kingdom (WIM UK) 100 Global Inspiration in Women 2020 list.

Leaders from AusIMM, Unearthed Solution, Engineers Australia, BHP and South32’s Illawarra Coal are among those recognised for their “above and beyond” contribution to the industry.

Herzig said it was a great honour to be included among the other inspirational women in mining who were recognised for their diversity of experience, dedication and talent.

“When I was starting out 30 years ago, the attitude towards women in mining was very different,” Herzig said.

“To be in a place now where we can actively celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of women, across the wide range of roles they play shows how far we have come as an industry.”

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