New data from the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has shown that the number of women in trade positions in the state’s resources industry has increased by almost 40 per cent since the 2022-23 financial year, with women making up 13 per cent of all trade roles.
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 2024’s finalists in the annual Resources Awards for Women, hosted by the QRC and Women In Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ).
QRC acting CEO, Judy Bertram, said there has never been a better time for women to get a job in Queensland’s resources sector and that 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 was impacting every household.
The latest ABS 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 to around $96,000 across all industries.
Ms Bertram said that 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,” Ms Bertram said.
The 2024 Resources Awards for Women will see 18 women and three female students compete for seven prestigious awards, with the winners to represent Queensland at the Women in Resources National Awards in Canberra.
Finalists from Weipa, Bluff, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Ridgelands, Southport, Gold Coast and Brisbane will attend the awards presentation that will take place in Brisbane on 8 March at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Finalists are general managers, engineers, governance experts, metallurgists, environmental advisors, trainers, production coordinators, mine technicians, workplace managers and asset innovation specialists.
WIMARQ co-chair, Sally Rayner, said that the latest data shows Queensland’s resources sector attracts a younger demographic of female employees compared to the national figure.
38 per cent of the industry’s female employees in Queensland are aged 34 years or under, compared to 28.4 per cent in this age group nationally.
“Resources companies are also more aware of the value to their business from having an inclusive environment which is open to new and different ways to identify and solve problems,” Ms Rayner said.
“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.”