Australia’s resource employer group Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has launched a nationwide educational campaign aimed at increasing productivity, competitiveness and economic growth through greater participation of women in the mining, energy and allied construction sectors.
Through Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) , AMMA’s government partnered initiative, the campaign promotes “top-down” leadership towards greater gender diversity, backed by Way Forward Guides and Gender Diversity Capability Workshops.
The first in the line of Gender Diversity Capability Workshops is scheduled to be held in Brisbane today followed by events in Newcastle, Darwin, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne throughout November and December, according to a media release.
“The AWRA Way Forward Guides and workshops provide the resource industry’s first end-to-end toolkit of practical business strategies to assist employers to attract and retain women workers,” said AMMA chief executive Steve Knott.
“Securing further resource investment lies in our ability to build more competitive and productive workforces, but with women’s participation at just 15.5%, the resource industry is selling itself short.”
“While resource operations represent more than 10% of Australia’s GDP, the industry stands to deliver significantly greater economic returns if we can unlock the long-term potential of women workers.”
Knott says the national education campaign will assist HR professionals in building a compelling business case for gender diversity and boost organisational support and executive leadership.
“AWRA is helping resource employers break down traditional barriers to female participation, covering everything from attraction and recruitment to culture, mentoring and work-life balance.”
The Guides present several studies showcasing diversity success in the resource industry, which are pioneering the diversity business case.
According to Mr. Knott, Australia was ranked outside the top 20 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, which clearly points out that the country has a long way to go with regards to this issue.
“Australia is smashing gender inequality when it comes to the high level of women in tertiary education, but we are failing to reap the return on this investment with below-par rates of labor force participation.”
“This type of change must be driven from the top of an organization and workforce inclusion must play a central role in normal business practice. By helping employers implement these strategies, we hope to see women’s participation in the resource industry exceed 25% by 2020,”concluded Mr. Knott.