Multi-ethnic workers wearing hard hats, in warehouse.

Resources Employers Focus On Gender Equality

On International Women’s Day, the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) took the opportunity to urge resource employers to take inspiration from leading workforce initiatives to build greater strength through gender diversity.

AMMA’s chief executive Steve Knott said that recently, gender diversity has been a key priority for resource employers in triggering new and innovative ideas to increase women’s participation.

“With the latest ABS stats showing our direct resources workforce comprises just 13.7% women, it is clearly in the interests of our productivity, sustainability of skills, and contribution to the national economy to improve gender balance within our industry.

Some of the standout resource companies demonstrating excellence in gender diversity policies and practices were featured in the latest edition of AMMA’s Resource People magazine, including:

  • Iluka Resources – the mineral sand miner’s new recruitment strategy dramatically increased women’s participation along with improved productivity and safety outcomes.
  • St Barbara – the gold miner has successfully reduced its gender pay gap and aims to boost women’s workforce participation from the already above average 24% to 30% by 2018.
  • ConocoPhillips – the oil and gas company’s flexible work policy is ensuring women can continue to participate in the workplace when they are often the primary caregiver.
  • Alcoa of Australia – the aluminium producer’s 25-year commitment to diversity has seen it recognised as an ‘employer of choice’ and build 20% women among senior executives.
  • Farstad Shipping – the offshore maritime employer is utilising the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) ‘Recognised Program’ to develop policies and practices to attract and retain more women.

“Farstad Shipping is an excellent example of how diversity-focused employers across the mining, oil and gas, and related service sectors are engaging with AMMA’s national gender diversity initiative AWRA to lift women’s participation in male-dominated roles,” Mr Knott said.

“AMMA was chosen by both the current and previous federal governments to roll out this initiative and its suite of practical tools, workshops and programs which include AWRA Recognised and AWRA e-Mentoring.

“Many resource employers are clearly prioritising gender diversity to build the skills, ideas and innovations that will drive greater productivity and competitiveness. It is important that we bolster these efforts to break down long-held perceptions and transform our male-dominated industry.

“As the resource industry transitions into a long-term production and export era, women will play a critical role in ensuring Australia’s resource future is as prosperous as its past.”

AWRA’s goal is to see women’s participation in the resource industry reach 25% by 2020.

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