News

Women in the driver's seat

Kaylene Munro gains training as an operator on a simulator. The mining industry is looking to women as a solution to the skills shortage.
Kaylene Munro gains training as an operator on a simulator. The mining industry is looking to women as a solution to the skills shortage. Peter Holt

WITH some mine companies screaming out for workers, are women the answer to the skills shortage?

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has an aggressive goal to have 20% of the mining industry made up of women by 2020.

QRC chief executive officer Michael Roche said it was a goal the mining industry was determined to reach.

Meanwhile, Minister for Women Karen Struthers said mines would have to become flexible in order to attract women as the skills shortage ramped up.

"It is no longer the case of, can or can't women do the job, we need them," she said.

The government's Women in Hard Hats campaign was started three years ago and has achieved some great results.

"The feedback I am getting from women is that they are feeling so much more secure from the financial benefits," she said.

Mr Roche said the industry had progressed and women were part of the answer to the skills shortage.

"There is no use for ... complaining about the skills shortage if you are not succeeding in tapping into the full potential of the population," Mr Roche said.

"At the moment about 11% of women are filling positions in non-traditional roles, like trades and senior management."

Mr Roche said the new target of 20% by 2020 would raise the bar but some mining companies were already on the right track.

"There are sites with 20-25% females and it is rare to find a site that doesn't have any women," he said.

Mining has developed, and mental strength was needed, not physical strength, he said.

"The industry is still dealing with a hang-over from the (ideology) that mine sites are manly, macho and dirty places ... a lot of positions are in air-conditioned rooms and cabs now," he said.

The mining industry, according to unions is one of the only industries that host equal wages amongst the sexes.

"Unlike some other industries the coal industry rates are based on competencies held which means that regardless of who you are, it is the competencies you hold which determine the rate you receive nothing else," CFMEU district vice-president Steve Pierce said.

Ms Struthers said there was nothing holding women back and the key to attracting women was flexibility.

"I'm not sure if central Queensland mines have this now, but there are mines near Mt Isa, which have the Mum Shift... women can then work around the school hours of 9-3," she said.

"The more women working in the industry, the easier it will become, because there will be a better support unit."

 

Women in mining

  •  In 2006 only 6% of the mining industry was made up of women.
  •  Now (2012) it is sitting at 11%.
  •  By 2020 the Queensland Resource Council hopes to boost this number to 20%.
  •  For more information head to the Women in Hard Hats website at communities.qld.gov.au/women.

Topics:  employment, mining industry, queensland resources council, women


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Moonshine Ochre a shade of Blues

ON STAGE: Gold Coast band Mescalito Blues.

GOLD Coast band Mescalito Blues are a regular fixture

Never weary of Bingham’s music and his crazy heart

George Ryan Bingham is an Americana singer-songwriter currently based in Los Angeles, California.

RYAN Bingham became a global sensation in 2010

Councils back campaign against ‘obscene’ Wicked slogans

Byron Shire Council has joined the fight against Wicked camper van slogans.

BALLINA, Byron councils will write to NSW and Queensland premiers

Latest deals and offers

WATCH: Bong throwing at Nimbin MardiGrass

THERE was no shortage of brave (or foolish) competitors in the Nimbin MardiGrass “Hemp Olympix” on Saturday.

Moonshine Ochre a shade of Blues

ON STAGE: Gold Coast band Mescalito Blues.

GOLD Coast band Mescalito Blues are a regular fixture

Never weary of Bingham’s music and his crazy heart

George Ryan Bingham is an Americana singer-songwriter currently based in Los Angeles, California.

RYAN Bingham became a global sensation in 2010

Councils back campaign against ‘obscene’ Wicked slogans

Byron Shire Council has joined the fight against Wicked camper van slogans.

BALLINA, Byron councils will write to NSW and Queensland premiers

Shakespeare at Byron just As You Like It

Rosalie Craig in As You Like It, produced by the UK's National Theatre Live.

SHAKESPEARE’S glorious comedy of love and change comes to Byron

Ramones drummer to hit the beats in Byron Bay today

Richie Ramone is an American drummer best known for being the drummer for the iconic punk band the Ramones, from February 1983 until August 1987.

HE WAS born Richard Reinhardt in 1957

ACF take Minister to Court

ACF chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy

The Australian Conservation Foundation go to court to stop Carmichael mine.

Dash Cam: Roo takes on car

Kangaroo leaps car.

Kangaroo could have kept going, jumps car instead.

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances