Mineral Resources (MinRes) has again contributed to the inclusion of women in mining, as a new, all-female cohort was welcomed through the mining company’s Entry Level Operator (ELO) program in Western Australia.
The three-month training program welcomed participants from various industries and positioned them for a career at MinRes.
The graduates will initially work at MinRes’ Iron Valley, Mount Marion and Yilgarn operations.
MinRes chief executive for commodities Paul Brown said the program was beneficial for individuals and the industry.
“We’re proud to see our ELO program is providing the opportunity for new talent to enter the mining sector, enabling our people to build industry knowledge and practical skills in an environment where they’re supported to grow and diversify their career path,” Brown said.
In June, MinRes subsidiary CSI Mining Services welcomed eight new employees through a similar Operator Trainee Program.
CSI executive general manager Jason O’Rourke said the 12-month Operator Trainee Program was an investment in the future of the company and the industry.
“Our Operator Trainee Program is about more than just the here and now; it also involves working closely with our employees to map a personalised development plan that can set them up for a long and successful career,” O’Rourke said.
Three quarters of participants in CSI’s Operator Trainee Program were also women, in a continued effort to support diversity in the mining industry.
The very first of MinRes’ ELO intakes was in March 2020, when 14 new operators joined the company.
The programs have contributed to a concerted effort from the mining industry to improve the on-site experience of workers.
In March, an Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) survey for women in resources found more than half (55 per cent) of respondents saw their workplace as “very diverse” or “average” compared to 35 per cent in 2020.
AusIMM chief executive Stephen Durkin said progress was promising but there was still work to be done.
“Being able to share and track the experiences of women in the resources industry through our annual survey is an important part of (our commitment to being an agent of change in the area of diversity and inclusion),” he said.
“It’s encouraging to see the industry making some progress in key areas, but there remains work to be done, particularly in the areas of workplace flexibility and perceptions around the inclusiveness of the entire sector.”
Since the survey, a number of sexual harassment claims have surfaced across Australia’s mining industry, leading the Minerals Council of Australia to introduce a National Industry Code on Eliminating Sexual Harassment.
MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said there was no other option but to emphasise the importance of such a code.
“MCA member companies will be required to confirm their commitment to eliminating sexual harassment and adopting the Industry Code and encouraged to include the commitment and code on their websites and intranet sites,” Constable said.
“Sexual harassment causes profound physical, emotional and psychological impacts on those affected. It is unacceptable, against the law and must be eliminated from our industry’s culture and workplaces.”