Resources Sector Attracting More Women
Posted: 06/20/2011 12:00:00 AM EDT | 0
Resources Sector Attracting More Women
An increasing proportion of women are choosing careers in Queensland’s resources sector.
Over the past 12 months women’s participation rate in the sector has increased to 14 percent, up from 11.3 percent in 2007-08, according to a survey by the sector’s peak industry body the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
‘There was also a steady rise in the proportion of women working in ‘non-traditional’ roles, such as engineering, geology, operators and trades,’ said QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche.
‘In these roles, women made up 10.8 percent of the workforce, compared to 9.8 percent the previous year,’ he said.
‘The increasing proportion of women is reflected in the fact that from 2005-06 to 2008-09, female employment in the industry grew by 111 percent, compared with male employment growth of 64 percent and total employment growth of 70 percent.
‘Of particular note is the significant increase in women working in executive and senior management roles. In 2005-06 they numbered just 22, but this figure increased to 110 for 2008-09, an increase of 400 percent.
‘In that same time period, the proportion of female engineers rose by 62 percent, geologists by 59 percent, trades people by 275 percent and operator/production employees by 207 percent.
‘It’s particularly gratifying to see that women are taking up these so called ‘non-traditional’ roles.
‘However, it should be noted that women still make up only 1 percent of trades people, 8 percent of operators/production employees, 12 percent of engineers and 11 percent of executive management, so we still have a long way to go.’
There has also been a small increase in the percentage of women applying for jobs in the resources sector according to the survey results.
In 2006-07, women made up 21 percent of the applicant pool, compared to 22.4 percent in 2008-09.
‘With the resources sector experiencing first signs of recovery, it cannot afford to become complacent in the attraction and retention of women,’ said Mr Roche.
‘Women are still a largely untapped pool of skilled employees and the sector cannot afford to miss out on their talents.
‘The QRC will continue over the next 12 months, through its Women in Resources Action Plan, to support its member companies in their efforts to attract and retain women.'
QRC President Nicole Hollows says she’s delighted to see that once again, the proportion of women working in Queensland’s resources sector has increased.
‘In 2006, when the QRC Board signed off on its Women in Resources Action Plan, we set a goal of 12 percent women in non-traditional roles by 2020,’ she said.
‘I feel very confident, based on the current trend that we’ll surpass that goal.
‘QRC members believe that women should be given every opportunity to share in the opportunities provided by the industry.
‘Their participation is an important element in ensuring the industry can attract the skilled workforce that it requires, especially as we face the prospect of a renewed surge in demand for our mineral resources.'
The statistics are published in the latest edition of the QRC’s Leading practice principles for the attraction and retention of women in the minerals and energy sector.
The publication, available in hard copy and on QRC’s website, showcases QRC member company initiatives to attract and retain women in their workforces.
Further information: Caroline Morrissey 07 3316 2507 or 0417 770 893.
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