Missing in Mining: Women's Livelihoods in Regional, Industrial Communities

Melanie attended the 2017 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 61st Session where she represented CQ University. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Public Health (Health Promotion)

Abstract

Australian women are subject to gender inequality in most realms of life due to a strong, engrained patriarchal culture. A gender divide is evident in the mining industry, where women are profoundly underrepresented in the workforce, impacting not only on their employment prospects but also their abilities to thrive in industrial-reliant regions and maintain economic empowerment. This report discusses women in the mining industry and the associated industry aspects that influence women’s livelihoods. Ultimately, women are missing in mining due to three key barriers: 1) an entrenched, masculine culture which reflects women as domestic homemakers and not fit for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematic) roles, 2) limitations in opportunities including shortages in training options, inflexible industry structures, and a lack of supportive family provisions, and 3) the economic, social and health impacts associated with living in mining- dependent communities. It is vital that women receive equal opportunities within the industry, and that strategies are developed to build diversity within the workforce, workplace and the adjoining communities.

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