QRC notes increase in women working in mining

29th January 2024 By: Sabrina Jardim - Creamer Media Online Writer

QRC notes increase in women working in mining

QRC acting CEO Judy Bertram

The number of women working in trade positions in Queensland’s resources sector jumped by almost 40% in the last financial year and now accounts for a record 13% of all trade roles, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) reports.

New industry data also shows that nine out of ten women employed by resources companies now work in ‘non-traditional’ roles such as engineering, environmental science, data analysis, production supervision and management positions.

The information was released in conjunction with the announcement of this year’s finalists in the yearly Resources Awards for Women, hosted by the QRC and Women In Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ).

QRC acting CEO Judy Bertram says there has never been a better time for women to get a job in Queensland’s resources sector.

She says it was wonderful to see more women benefiting from the financial security of a well-paid job in the industry, especially at a time when the high cost of living is impacting on every household.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows mine employees are the highest average income earners in Australia, with the average full-time annual wage – excluding bonuses – just over $148 000 compared with about $96 000 across all industries.

Bertram says research shows a more diverse workplace helps create a safer, more productive and more positive working environment for all employees.

“The resources sector is also experiencing a serious skilled worker shortage so there are plenty of practical reasons why companies are seeking to recruit more women for a broad range of positions,” she points out.

This year, 18 women and three female students will compete for seven prestigious awards, with the winners to represent Queensland at the Women in Resources National Awards in Canberra later this year.

Finalists from Weipa, Bluff, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Ridgelands, Southport, Gold Coast and Brisbane will attend the awards presentation that will take place at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on March 8.

Between them, finalists are general managers, engineers, governance experts, metallurgists, environmental advisers, trainers, production coordinators, mine technicians, workplace managers and asset innovation specialists.

This year a record nine finalists live in Brisbane, cementing the city’s reputation as Queensland’s biggest mining town.

WIMARQ co-chair Sally Rayner says the latest data shows that Queensland’s resources sector attracts a younger demographic of female employees compared with the national figure.

Thirty-eight per cent of the industry’s female employees in Queensland are aged 34 years or under, compared with 28.4% in this age group nationally.

“Resources companies are also more aware of the value to their business of having an inclusive environment which is open to new and different ways to identify and solve problems.

“This year’s outstanding field of award finalists clearly demonstrates the diverse and rewarding careers available across our sector, which we hope inspires a whole new generation of women to consider the opportunities available,” she comments.