Gender still a great divide in mining

Women’s role in mining is on the rise, but they still have a long way to go to achieve equality according to a new report from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

Today the WGEA has launched a new database explorer which shows the distribution of labour and professions between men and women in the Australian workforce, searchable by industry.

The data explorer covers 4354 non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees that reported during the 2013-14 period.

For mining the sample data was comprised of 177,639 employees in 169 organisations.

With female employees making up 16 per cent of the mining workforce and 15.1 per cent of senior and other management roles, only 2.6 per cent of the chief executive officers of Australian mining companies were women.

In addition, women make up only 4.9 per cent of the technicians and trade professionals, and 10 per cent of machinery operators, while 7.1 per cent of labourers are female.

However, women made up 77.4 per cent of clerical and administrative employees in the industry, and 26.2 per cent of professional staff.

The distribution of community and personal service professionals was even with 51.3 per cent women.

The gender pay gaps still loom in the industry, with sales professionals faring the worst at a 37.1 per cent pay gap between women and men, much worse than the overall national pay gap (all industries) of 24 per cent, equating to more than $27,000 per year difference.

This represented a pay gap increase of 12.61 per cent on 2014 figures for sales staff.

Female machinery operators did much better, with a pay gap of 6.66 per cent, up from 2.48 per cent in 2014. 

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