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


Stay Connected

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

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

The pecan harvest is just beginning, so you will find a good selection at the markets from now. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Pecans and cauliflowers among the new buys, as well as a great tea

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

First Fire firing on all cylinders

Owner Michael McGrath and trainer John Dart were all smiles after a win at the Casino greyhounds meeting on Tuesday night. PHOTO: TARRAH VANDERSTOK

Owner Michael McGrath and trainer John Dart all smiles at Casino

Local Partners

Ten awesome things to do this week

THE list includes from Mr Beef in Casino to Byron Bay Rugby, plus some great classic music event and other community events.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Mullum's hit cabaret duo Peter and Bambi

COMEDY: Asher Treleaven (La Soirée) and Gypsy Wood (Miss Cage Dance Universe Australia) are Peter & Bambi Heaven.

If David Copperfield and Claudia Schiffer were from this area

Baywatch: Lifeguards with model looks return for 'filthy fun'

TWO chiselled men emerge from the surf. One looks like a god. The other, well, he's gasping for air and doesn't realise there's a jellyfish on his chest.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Wild and unknown from Sara Tindley

SONGS FROM THE HEART: Singer Songwriter Sara Tindley.

Local singer songwriter unveils new album

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!