Resources sector attracting more women

AN increasing proportion of women are choosing careers in Queensland’s resources sector, according to a new survey by the Queensland Resources Council.
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QRC president Nicole Hollows launches a new campaign on attracting womeninto the resouces sector.

Staff Reporter

Over the past 12 months, women’s participation rate in the sector has increased to 14%, up from 11.3% in 2007-08.

“There was also a steady rise in the proportion of women working in ‘non-traditional’ roles, such as engineering, geology, operators and trades,” QRC chief executive Michael Roche said.

“In these roles, women made up 10.8 per cent of the workforce, compared to 9.8 per cent the previous year.

“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 per cent, compared with male employment growth of 64 per cent and total employment growth of 70 per cent.”

In executive and senior management roles in 2005-06 women numbered just 22, but this figure increased to 110 for 2008-09.

“In that same time period, the proportion of female engineers rose by 62 per cent, geologists by 59 per cent, tradespeople by 275 per cent and operator/production employees by 207 per cent,” Roche said.

Despite the increase in figures, women still make up only 1% of tradespeople, 8% of operators/production employees, 12% of engineers and 11% of executive management.

There has also been a small increase in the percentage of women applying for jobs in the resources sector.

“With the resources sector experiencing the first signs of recovery, it cannot afford to become complacent in the attraction and retention of women,” Roche said.

“Women are still a largely untapped pool of skilled employees and the sector cannot afford to miss out on their talents.”

QRC president Nicole Hollows said she was confident the council would pass its goal, set when launching the Women in Resources Action Plan in 2006, of 12% women in non-traditional roles by 2020.

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