The Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (The AusIMM) and the Women in Mining Network (WIMnet) have taken a proactive step forward to address the matter of gender equity and associated issues.
The AusIMM and WIMnet recently made a joint submission to the Federal Inquiry into pay equity and associated issues related to increasing female participation in the workforce.
The submission was based on recent AusIMM remuneration survey findings, as well as a further quantitative and qualitative Gender Equity Survey that was completed by 700 professionals in the minerals sector, of which 68% were female.
The AusIMM and WIMnet hope that the findings of the Gender Equity Survey and the submission will help individuals and companies put forward strategies that will assist in retention of mission critical staff.
In particular, those staff with a high level of technical knowledge and operational experience, and the ability to contribute to the efficiency of operations.
Responses to the Gender Equity Survey identified three categories of obstacles to a more equitable workplace, namely:
• Issues that affect females particularly (regardless of caring responsibilities)
• Issues that affect people with caring responsibilities (both males and females)
• Issues that affect people in roles that employ ‘softer’ skills (both males and females)
Chair of WIMnet, Donna Frater, is pleased with the submission and its importance in highlighting critical equity issues.
“There is no doubt that the value of experience and professional development when seeking to improve productivity is significant — especially at this time. There will be challenges ahead; however WIMnet is committed to promoting equity of the professional workforce,” Frater said.
The single biggest issue raised by respondents was lack of workplace flexibility and the impact on people with caring responsibilities, with corporate policies often applied inconsistently by managers worried about ‘opening the floodgates.’