The NSW mining industry is world class and we’re proud of the things we’re achieving like helping to build stronger communities, innovative technology, world-leading safety and new practices to reduce our impact on the environment.
One issue we want to tackle is the shortage of women employed in non-traditional roles such as engineers, geologists, surveyors and trades, to show that mining is not just welcoming to women, but needs their skills.
There are a growing number of women working in a range of roles and leadership positions in the NSW mining sector.
Many of our member companies are increasing the diversity of their workforces and the proportion of female employees they have at mine sites across NSW. And they’re working to provide flexible environments for the families of working parents and improve the process of returning to work after having a child.
This includes women employed in non-traditional roles such as engineers, geologists, surveyors and trades, because mining is not just welcoming to women, but needs their skills and the contribution they can make to our industry.
NSW Mining hosts the NSW Women in Mining Awards to acknowledge the achievements of women in mining, including groundbreaking efforts by individuals and companies to recruit and retain women.
The NSW mining industry also supports other Awards programs across recognising the success of women, gender diversity champions and companies working to enhance diversity and inclusion across Australia's resources workforce. This includes the annual Women in Resources National Awards hosted by the Minerals Council of Australia.
Many companies that are members of the NSW Minerals Council have programs that encourage greater diversity in their workforce.
Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations - Mining our local talent pool (finalist 2019 NSW Women in Mining Awards)
Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations near Orange in the Central West of NSW draws most of its workforce from the local community. Newcrest realised that despite a local workforce, it had lower than average employment of women, and that across industries, highly skilled women were leaving the workforce and not returning.
Newcrest set out to tap into this local valuable resource of non-working professional women, both from mining and other backgrounds. Women identified through the program said inflexible work arrangements and the need to care for children were the barriers to returning to work.
Newcrest was able to respond by creating flexible working arrangements that were tailored to the individual. Whether this included changes to rostering arrangements (e.g. clusters of working periods throughout the year with breaks in between), adjusted hours or part-time work opportunities, the focus was on finding arrangements that empowers the individual to balance their work and life commitments.
In its first year of operation, the program saw five new female employees take up positions. The gold mine is continuing the program and is supporting these women to progress their careers at Newcrest, with one of the individuals moving into a Superintendent position.
BHP Mt Arthur - Operator Traineeship Program targets diversity (finalist 2018 NSW Women in Mining Awards)
Mt Arthur Coal identified that the best way to improve culture and diversity was from the ground up, with an innovative approach to trainee recruitment.
The Operator Traineeship Program was designed to remove historic barriers to entry for diverse candidates. This included prioritising candidate attitude and behaviour over prior work experience. Sufficient time was built into the program to deliver the required skills instead of relying on experience. Additional support was provided through a buddy system to help candidates through the traineeship.
Candidates work towards a Certificate II in Surface Extraction over the program's 12-month period and can continue at Mt Arthur Coal as operators at the end of the training period.
In 2017, female participation on site was approximately 10.6 percent. The trainee program has introduced a further 69 female operators to site. This represented an achievement of just over 61 percent female candidate participation since its inception.
Approximately 25 percent of the program intake are Indigenous Australians. Value from the program has flowed into the local community, with more opportunities for local people who are able to stay in the Muswellbrook area.
The NSW Women in Mining Network exists to provide a productive network of women in the mining industry.
It represents the interests of women working in the NSW minerals industry and anyone can be a member, including non-AusIMM members, regardless of gender.
The NSW Women in Mining Network hosts networking events in Sydney and mining regions including the Hunter Valley, Illawarra and Central West. The network is open to all women working in or with the NSW minerals industry. Women working in non-traditional roles are particularly encouraged to join.
Since 2013, the NSW Women in Mining Network Mentoring Program has helped women working in the NSW mining industry to develop the skills and knowledge to help them fulfil their potential and excel in their professions.
Everyone that participates is matched with an experienced industry mentor (male or female) who can share their expertise. They’re also given the opportunity to engage in training and networking activities in a structured, sustainable mentoring process.
Applications for the program typically close early in the year with the Program running annually between May and October.
The NSW Women in Mining Awards recognise and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women and gender diversity champions across our industry. Entries are now open.Learn more
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