For the second year in a row, a national woman in mining survey, conducted by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), has outlined the challenging experiences of women employed in the resources sector, particularly those in fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) roles.
The snapshot data, launched as part of AusIMM’s International Women’s Day Luncheon Series across five Australian capital city locations, suggested that although women’s participation in the industry is slowly increasing and the gender pay gap is significantly lower than other industries, support for women in the sector still requires critical attention.
With over 700 participants, the survey found that 62 per cent of female respondents indicated they did not perceive the industry as diverse (an increase of 5 per cent on 2019 results), but nearly five times as many felt that their individual workplaces were very diverse, comparative to the industry.
AusIMM CEO, Stephen Durkin, said this difference was noteworthy and could be attributed to an increased awareness of the experiences of women coupled with companies implementing proactive measures to increase diversity and foster inclusion.
“The numbers make it very clear that there are still areas of our industry requiring greater attention and one of these is the experiences of women,” said Mr Durkin.
“Our 2020 survey shows that diversity and inclusion is eight times more likely to be a priority for women in the industry. AusIMM recognises this priority as the peak body for resources professionals and are deeply committed to playing a strong leadership role to help create meaningful change.”
Drilling down on the diversity of roles and experiences, the survey found that 20 per cent of FIFO workers indicated that they frequently experienced time pressures in relation to toilet access, double that of their office-based colleagues.
Cleanliness issues were faced by 15 per cent of FIFO workers providing examples of the diversity of experiences, the discrepancy between experiences and the need for practical solutions.
To overcome challenges in the industry, female participants indicated that the three most important areas of focus were equal employment opportunities (29 per cent), flexible workplaces (25 per cent) and an increase in industry leadership (18 per cent).
“Benchmarking progress in an honest, accountable way is an important part of building an industry that values and inspires every professional,” said Mr Durkin.
Now in its second year, AusIMM has committed to continuing this research each year as a means of marking progress and priorities for diverse professionals.
A full comprehensive analysis of 2020 results will be made available on AusIMM’s Bulletin website in the coming weeks.
For more information on AusIMM’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in the sector, visit ausimm.com/our-communities/council-diversity-inclusion/