GOVERNMENT EXTENDS support for e-Mentoring The Australian Government will continue funding a successful online mentoring program for women working in the resource industry.
AN INITIATIVE OF national resource industry employer AMMA, the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) e-Mentoring Program was launched in early 2013 with a mandate to provide valuable support to women forging a career in the mining, oil and gas sectors. “I am always pleased to support private sector initiatives that assist women in non-traditional roles and industries, such as AMMA’s Australian Women in Resources Alliance,” says Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash. “This is an industry-led initiative dedicated to helping employers attract, retain and reap the rewards of women in the workplace, and ensures women are able to reach their full potential in the resource sector. “I am delighted that the government is funding AMMA to extend its activities delivered as part of the AWRA e-Mentoring Program. “Across the next two years, one hundred pairs of mentors and mentees will be matched.” More than 150 resource professionals have already benefited from the program, which facilitates a nine-month online mentoring relationship tailored to the remote locations and non-traditional work schedules of many resource workers. AMMA executive director of industry services Tara Diamond says the federal government’s funding commitment mirrors resource employers’ ongoing efforts to build a pipeline of female talent. “Women have a critical role to play in ensuring the industry has the skills and talent to build and operate major resource
www.amma.org.au | Spring 2014 |
projects well into the future, however, the workforce is not as diverse as it could be,” Diamond says. “Investment in initiatives like AWRA is vital if we are to see women’s participation in the sector increase from the current 15 per cent to our goal of 25 per cent by 2020.” Following its initial success, the e-Mentoring scope will now target demographics of women which are particularly underrepresented in the industry. “AWRA will bring on board experienced male and female mentors to engage with Indigenous and recently tradequalified women in the resource and allied sectors, as well as graduates in non-traditional roles,” Diamond says. “The real value of the e-Mentoring program is that each mentee has access to the most appropriate mentor from a variety of levels in the industry anywhere in the country. “For a woman working on a remote mine site or oil rig, a connection to an experienced professional working in a different state or on another project can make all the difference to their career development.” Senator Cash says the initiative will add to industry-wide efforts to promote resource industry careers to women. “The benefits (of mentoring) can be enormous for women, including increased opportunities at work, expanded network reach, higher salary, improved confidence and support from a valued role model, and increased work satisfaction – factors which are all a dynamic recipe for attracting and retaining women to the Australian resource industry,” she says.