Mining is one of the biggest employers in Australia, with the industry supporting over 132,000 people in the 2018 financial year.

Despite its size, the statistics still reveal that mining is the most male-dominated industry in Australia, with women comprising just 16.1 per cent of all employees.

According to the Federal Government’s Workplace, Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) women account for:

· 4.5% of technicians

· 11.1% of machinery operators and drivers

· And, 13% of labourers

Ahead of International Women’s Day, we asked our very own Renata Rowan, Recruitment and Talent Manager about what further steps are needed to be taken to increase female participation in the industry.

How should we encourage women to apply for careers in mining?

Encouraging women to apply by letting them know the opportunities exist and that we support diversity as a business. Promising opportunities to upskill is where I would like to see our business progress, specifically across the mining industry. From a recruitment perspective, it has been great to see over the years salaries becoming equal in workplaces across the board for men and women.

However, it would be good to encourage more women to take on leadership roles in the workplace as this is something I see as lacking.

Do you think the industry is changing in terms of diversity and inclusivity?

According to Bloomberg, the proportion of women employed by mining companies sits at around 15.7%, up only 1% in the past five years – and the numbers are worse at a management level. Just one in 20 global firms is headed by a woman. Mining is lagging in its progress on gender equality.

I would like to see our company working towards the goal of gender equality across its operations in reflection of these statistics.

I think that it is exciting times for women as we work towards equal representation in the workforce. The big companies take great efforts in encouraging women to take on a variety of roles that traditionally have not been held by women. Apprenticeship and traineeship encourage women to learn a trade are a great step towards this.

Do you have any advice for women starting a career in mining?

Don’t be afraid to take on challenges. Women and men are equals in our society, and this should be further reflected in the workplace.

The Schlam Group is committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce through application of its equal opportunity and non-discrimination policy. Our commitment is to build a team that represents a variety of backgrounds and skills. Register your interest to join the Schlam team today.