Workplace experience for women in resources improves

An Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) survey for women in resources has found that on-site experience has improved this year compared with 2020.

More than half (55 per cent) of respondents see their workplace as “very diverse” or “average”, compared with only 35 per cent who perceive the same degree of diversity in the resources sector.

This trend is replicated in the respondents’ perception on inclusion, with 3.3 times as many women indicating their workplace having a “very inclusive” culture (24 per cent) compared with the resources sector as a whole (7 per cent).

The Women in Mining survey includes 460 women who work in urban areas (61 per cent), regional areas (22 per cent) and rural areas (15 per cent).

AusIMM chief executive Stephen Durkin said that part of influencing change was being able to measure progress and develop focus areas.

“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.”

The survey shows that amenities, travel support and on-site experience are improving compared with last year.

However, what has continued to be a challenge is support for women to manage inter-role conflict between work and home roles, especially those who are working in site-based and technical roles.

The survey also points to the need of better health and wellbeing support on site while including feedback to extend recreational options beyond the gymnasium and mess hall.

The annual survey shows that women’s participation in fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) roles remains stable, reflecting the sector’s ability to accommodate for COVID-19 impacts on travel and border closures.

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