April 2019

AusIMM research reveals challenges for women in mining

  • By AusIMM

AusIMM’s latest research shows that despite a shrinking pay gap and more women participating in the industry, there is still a way to go before real equality is achieved

A new national women in mining survey conducted by AusIMM has showcased the challenging experiences of women employed in the modern resources industry.

Related content: AusIMM women in mining survey

Have your say and drive better outcomes for women in resources by completing AusIMM’s 2020 Women in Mining survey by Friday 31 January.

This data is essential to help us gain an in-depth insight into how AusIMM can continue to support women employed in the sector and discover areas needing critical attention.

The data, launched as part of AusIMM’s International Women’s Day Series in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth dictated that although women’s participation in the industry is slowly increasing and the gender pay gap shrinking, support for women in the sector still needs critical attention.

With over 600 participants, the survey conducted in February compared answers given by women to the answers provided by their male counterparts late last year during AusIMM’s Professional Employment and Remuneration Survey.

The data found that over 57 per cent of female respondents indicated they did not perceive the industry as diverse, and over 40 per cent did not perceive the industry as inclusive.

Of the 21 per cent of women who indicated they held a FIFO/DIDO role in the sector, five times as many women indicated that health care services were below average when compared to their male counterparts.

Further to this, the data found that seven times more women saw diversity and inclusion as a priority when compared to their male counterparts.

These findings were identified in a survey cohort where 97 per cent of respondents held a bachelor’s degree or higher, demonstrating a highly skilled and capable workforce.

To overcome female challenges in the industry, female participants indicated that the three most important areas of focus were equal employment opportunities, flexible workplaces and an increase in industry leadership.

AusIMM CEO Stephen Durkin used the launch of the data and the AusIMM International Women’s Day event series to commit AusIMM again to leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion.

‘AusIMM recognises that we have challenges in our industry when it comes to diversity and inclusion. The numbers make that clear,’ said Mr Durkin.

‘We are deeply committed to playing a strong leadership role to help fix these problems as the peak body for resources professionals.’

‘We’re focusing on our own strategies and policies at AusIMM so that we can lead by example. We are taking real steps to be a more contemporary, welcoming and future-focused organisation.’

AusIMM has committed to holding this survey annually to analyse the perceptions and experiences of women in the sector and track industry progress. 

‘Diversity is important, full stop. If we truly want to generate the best ideas in the fastest way, to have the biggest impact, you need diversity and inclusion.’ — Jad Vodopija, Vice President, Human Resources – APA, Orica – speaking at AusIMM’s International Women’s Day
event in Melbourne. 

‘Gender equality is not a zero sum game. It benefits men and women in our workplaces, homes and communities.’ — Jade Collins, Director, Femeconomy – speaking at AusIMM’s International Women’s Day event in Melbourne. 

AusIMM Council for Diversity and Inclusion

AusIMM’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion drives an ongoing strategy of improvement for AusIMM and the industry, to provide the support needed for every professional to succeed in the mining sector.

Michaela Healey, as the Founding President of International Women’s Forum, brings her wealth of experience to the position of Council Chair along with a diverse panel of industry representatives including:

  • Bob Vassie (Managing Director and CEO, St Barbara)
  • Colleen Devine (Head of Talent, Rio Tinto)
  • Julie Shuttleworth (Deputy CEO, Fortescue Metals Group)
  • Kate Hobbs (Director, Hobbs Group Pty Ltd, Chair AusIMM Women in Mining Network)
  • Phillip Griffiths (President, AusIMM Melbourne Student Chapter)
  • Rex Berthelsen (Immediate Past President and Board Member, AusIMM and Group Technical Governance Manager, MMG)
  • Stephen Durkin (CEO, AusIMM)
  • Xiaoling Liu (Non-Executive Director, South 32, Illuka Resources and Newcrest Mining).

AusIMM Diversity and Inclusion Policy

AusIMM recognises diversity as one of our most important workforce elements because diversity in the workforce enables AusIMM and those who engage with AusIMM to:

  • Attract, retain and encourage resources employees from the widest possible spectrum of background and experience.
  • Foster a culture that reflects AusIMM values integrity and respect in a sector that is open to all.
  • Foster innovation, creativity and inspire critical thinking from a diverse pool of talent.
  • Establish a dynamic atmosphere that leads to increased performance and greater employee participation and workforce fulfilment.
  • Enrich communication between resources professionals and the community and industry to serve.
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