Women in mining still facing bullying, discrimination – report

(Image by AusIMM, Facebook).

Women working across the resource industry continue to face challenges around bullying, discrimination and inequitable treatment, a new report by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) shows.

According to the document, which is based on the responses of 550 people polled for the organization’s fourth annual Women in Mining Survey, 70% of female respondents said bullying is common, and 85% said gender inequality is common. Close to 67% also said sexual harassment is common in the mining industry, which was more than double the proportion of male respondents.

“Some of the findings are confronting. They reflect an industry where many do not feel safe to go to work and are not getting the support they need to advance,” AusIMM CEO Stephen Durkin said in a media statement.

Drilling down on the experiences of women working on-site, the survey results show women in fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out roles are more likely to rate workplace inclusion as poor compared to the survey average, that is, 41% compared to 28%. Women in these roles are also more likely to rate workplace diversity as poor, at 41% compared to 34% in the survey average.

“We need to mobilize and equip resources professionals to actively prevent harmful and discriminatory behaviour wherever they see it. That is the power of a professional community such as ours,” Durkin said. “The leadership of communities such as AusIMM’s Women in Mining Networks, and programs such as the Women on Boards Scholarship and National Mentoring Program, are vital in this respect.”

The other side of the coin

Despite ringing the alarm bell on the work that still needs to be done around equity, diversity and inclusion, the snapshot data does contain positive news. 

According to the survey, 85% of female respondents are earning more than the average Australian female salary and close to 63% are in senior or lead professional roles. This shows an increase of 6% compared to the results from 2021.

The study also revealed what drives women to enter the resource sector and stay in it.

Asked to indicate what they most value in their careers, female respondents emphasized the satisfaction that comes with interesting, technically complex and fulfilling work.