Mentors needed to support NSW’s mining women

Women working in the NSW mining industry are being asked to participate in a mentoring program aimed to help females entering the sector or looking to further their careers.

WIMnet NSW is holding its first Mentoring Program from May 2015 – September 2015 with 20 mentee application places available.

WIMnet said the program would fill the need for formal mentoring, an initiative flagged as important by its members.

The program will use a structured framework and include a matching process by a Registered Psychologist and training for all participants.

In Queensland, a similar mentoring initiative has seen 20 women complete a six month mentoring program, where they were matched with CEOs and senior executive from resources companies.

A recent study showed female participation in the mining industry had fallen by 1.6 per cent of the total workforce in the year to May 2014.

The drop from 15.5 per cent to 13.9 per cent led to calls from the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) to “diversity-savvy employers” to better their efforts to increase the number of women in the sector.

“Specifically, the statistics show coal mining, metal ore extraction and quarrying activities have all gone backwards in terms of their gender balance over the past 12 months.” Australian Mines and Metals Association executive director Tara Diamond said.

“While there are many successful efforts across the industry to attract and retain more women generally, achieving a gender balance in these site-based, male-dominated roles presents the greatest challenge.”

 The focus for increasing female participation is on site-based roles such as professionally-based engineering and geophysics roles, and trade-based roles like welding and rigging.

Bucking the trend, the oil and gas sector increased the number of its female workforce, adding an additional 1,800 women since May 2013.

Image: GRCDeveloper

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