Mining still Australia's worst sector for gender diversity

THE mining industry is still the least gender diverse sector in Australia.
Mining still Australia's worst sector for gender diversity Mining still Australia's worst sector for gender diversity Mining still Australia's worst sector for gender diversity Mining still Australia's worst sector for gender diversity Mining still Australia's worst sector for gender diversity

According to the government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), only 18% of mining's workforce was women in the 2020 financial year.

That makes it the worst sector, behind construction with 18.1% women.

However, the mining industry improved over the year, rising from 17% women in the 2019 financial year, while construction declined from 18.3% women.

The proportion of female managers in mining jumped from 17.7% to 19.1%, well ahead of construction's 13%.

Mining has 19.6% female directors and 7.6% female CEOs.

The Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA) said the data showed the mining sector had an intense focus on attracting female talent.

"While the figures don't show the desired level of growth, AMMA continues to guide and support many resources and energy employers committed to increasing their female workforce and leadership representation," AMMA director, operations Tara Diamond said.

"Many employers have developed industry-leading policies and initiatives to attract and develop women into the resources and energy industry.
 
"This includes expanded paid parental leave, initiatives to progress more women into leadership positions and job re-design, just to name a few."

The mining sector scored better in other areas, with its total remuneration gender pay gap at 13.6%, well below the 20.1% average for all industries.

The pay gap in mining has dropped from 15.8% in the 2016 financial year.

The average difference in remuneration was A$20,963, below the average of $25,534 for all industries.

The percentage of mining companies offering primary carer's leave has jumped from 52.6% in FY16 to 62.1% in FY20 and above the average of 52.4%.

Mining was also ahead in policies to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination, with 100% of companies having a formal policy, ahead of 98.6% across all industries, and 91.7% providing training for all managers, compared to 88.5% for all industries.

The mining sector was also ahead on policies on domestic violence and support for employees.
 
AMMA said it would continue to support the industry through its national workforce gender diversity and inclusion initiative, the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA).
 
"During the early stages of COVID-19, employers were challenged to focus on inclusion and diversity while essential operations took centre stage," Diamond said.
 
"However, we are now seeing a renewed focus to ensure they don't miss out on the wide-ranging and long-term rewards of more inclusive and diverse workplaces."
 
AMMA is also rolling out its Bright Future STEM program to thousands of school kids across the country.

"In particular, the program helps breakdown gender stereotypes by showcasing inspirational female STEM professionals, while bringing to life science, technology, engineering and maths subjects and how they link back to real jobs in resources and energy," Diamond said.