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New work flexibility guide to boost gender diversity in mining

A royalty free image from construction or oil and gas industry of a female worker.

On this International Women’s Day, employers across Australia’s male-dominated resource industry now have a practical tool to implement greater flexible work arrangements in their workplaces and thus boost their ability to attract and retain more women within their ranks.

The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) has launched its Guide to Flexible Work to help mining, oil and gas and related construction sector employers increase their workforce gender diversity.

“In recent years the Australian resource industry has overhauled its recruitment and human resources practices to diversify the skills and talent mix of its workforces. However, putting flexible work into practice at their operations remains a challenge for many employers,” AWRA spokesperson Tara Diamond said.

“Flexibility can be particularly challenging at resource industry workplaces that involve remote locations, projects operating on a 24-hour basis and often with health and safety rules restricting the practical ability to have multiple rosters or other options for flexible work.

“AWRA’s Guide to Flexible Work helps resource employers think outside the box and consider the broad range of modern flexible work options that may suite their workplaces and appeal to a greater pool of employees – both female and male – to ultimately benefit organisational culture and performance.”

AWRA is an industry initiative facilitated by peak employer group the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), and since 2011 has worked to increase women’s participation in the resource industry.

Its new Guide to Flexible Work is the latest in a long number of practical initiatives, and includes:

  • Advice on how to make flexibility work in the resource industry;
  • 13 types of flexible work options such as job sharing, teleworking, flexible hours and expanded leave;
  • Example workplace policies and templates;
  • Useful legal tips; and
  • Real case study examples of successful flexible work practices from across the resource industry.

The Australian Government has provided funding support to the AWRA initiative since its inception. Today, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said a practical guide to implement flexible work policies will help open doors to women in the resource industry.

“I am delighted to endorse AWRA’s Guide to Flexible Work as an important practical tool to assist in the workplace flexibility practices of Australia’s resource industry employers,” Minister Cash said.

“With the jobs of the future set to be more flexible and agile, the ability for employers in male dominated industries to implement valuable and practical options for workplace flexibility will be vital to their success in attracting and retaining more diverse workforces.

“Through our strategic partnership with AMMA and its AWRA initiative, collectively we are helping remove barriers for women to enter the resource industry, and in particular increase their representation in on-site and operational roles.”

AWRA’s Guide to Flexible Work can be downloaded here.

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