Australia urges Women to enter Mining Industry

Women MinersAustralia Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) has been launched to increase women’s participation in the mining industry. The AWRA is planning to launch a series of strategies to increase the attraction and retention rate of women in the resources industry.

AMMA say they are working in partnership with the industry and the Federal Government’s Critical Skills Investment Fund for the project, which will implement recommendations from the National Resources Sector Workforce Strategy. “Increasing the number of female workers in the resources and allied construction sectors has been identified as an essential strategy in meeting the industry’s escalating demand for workers,” AMMA director Minna Knight said.

“AWRA will build on many of the industry initiatives and networking groups already doing things for female resources workers, this project now gives us an opportunity to unite all these organisations under one banner and take a nationally co-ordinated approach.” This announcement comes as the Women in Industry Conference in Sydney this week looked to address “the under representation of women in these industries. “For the mining and construction sectors, which are experiencing skills shortages, women represent a huge pool of untapped talent. Increased focus on employing women will ultimately benefit the economy, industry and women themselves,” SkillsDMC CEO Steve McDonald said.

According to SkillsDMC’s 2011 Environmental Scan, women account for 11% of the mining (metalliferous and coal) workforce. Under the AWRA project, the focus will be on identifying gaps in the application of policy and practices at worksites “while also developing guidance and assistance in terms of worksite best practices and female workforce development,” Knight added.

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