GENDER REPORTING TO build bigger picture HELEN
MANY RESOURCE EMPLOYERS will soon report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) under requirements its director Helen Conway says will turn talk into tangibles. “At the organisational level there is so much research now,” Conway says. “Stop the research, stop the talking and start the doing because the research has established that gender equality leads to better organisational performance, greater access to talent and competitive advantage.” The WGEA is an Australian Government agency responsible for administering the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (previously the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999). Private sector employers with more than 100 employees are now required to report annually against a set of standardised Gender Equality Indicators (GEIs) designed to directly address gender equality challenges such as workforce composition and remuneration. The first annual reporting period ends 31 March 2014, while the
CONWAY next stage (to March 2015) will require these employers to meet a set of minimum GEIs and standards established by the government. While the business community has expressed concerns about the potential compliance burden and detraction from their own gender equality practices, Conway insists the agency will remain a ‘soft-touch regulator’. “Essentially the reporting will be a workplace profile – a surveytype questionnaire. It will be done online with drop-down menus and the agency will release guidelines on how to report,” she says. “It is exciting because there’s no other jurisdiction in the world that has this data. Canada and many South American nations have very similar reporting mechanisms but they are not as comprehensive. Australia will have the best picture of gender equality in the world. “Considering the contribution the resource sector makes to the Australian economy, it has the potential to make a great impact in the gender space.”
Jobseeker forum opens PATHWAYS FOR WOMEN MORE THAN 150 women eager to pursue a mining career had the opportunity to directly engage with employers and enrol in fully-funded training at a recent AMMA jobseeker forum in Brisbane. “We offered Queensland women the opportunity to gain insight into the diverse roles on offer across Australia’s resource industry – from engineering and technical roles through to support services such as catering, cleaning and maintenance,” says AMMA executive director industry services Tara Diamond. Designed to bolster the number of women working in the industry, the Connecting Women Jobseeker Forum was developed with Australian Government funding as part of AMMA’s workforce development project AMMA Skills Connect. “The forum’s attendees spanned a range of skill levels, from university students to existing workers and unemployed – all looking to take part in Queensland’s burgeoning resource industry,” says Diamond. “In addition to hearing from industry experts, a number of eligible attendees kick-started a new career in the support service sector by enrolling in a fully-funded Certificate III in Hospitality with the Sarina Russo Institute.
www.amma.org.au | Autumn 2014 |
“For all of the forum’s female jobseekers, learning more about the various mining projects in Queensland and nationally, and receiving direct advice from employers could provide the boost they need to embark on a rewarding resources career.” With some previous truck driving experience, jobseeker Johanna Wilson attended the forum to learn more about upcoming job opportunities and network with employers. “I thought [the forum] was a fantastic wealth of knowledge and I enjoyed all of the presentations. I was also able to do some great networking and make some contacts with the presenters, especially with Thiess, who I have a great interest in working for,” she says. The AMMA Skills Connect initiative complements the work underway by the Australian Women in Resources Alliance, which aims to increase the level of women in the resource industry from 15.5 to 25 per cent by 2020. Attendees heard from companies including Thiess, Caltex Australia, Easternwell, Assetlink, Cater Care Services, Aero-Care, Diamond Protection, miningoilandgasjobs.com, Sarina Russo Institute and AMMA Skills Connect.