AS the G20 leaders commit to reducing the gender employment gap in their respective nations, Australian resource employers are meeting in Perth today to discuss strategies to increase women’s participation in the resource industry to 25 per cent by 2020.

The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) Forum, hosted by national resource industry employer group AMMA, brings together organisations that are paving the way in addressing the resource industry’s male-dominated workforce.

“It was very encouraging to see women’s workforce participation become a global economic priority at the G20 Summit, specifically to reduce the gender employment gap in leading economies by 25 per cent by 2025,” says AMMA executive director Tara Diamond.

“As one of the key pillars of Australia’s economy and with more than $500 billion worth of major projects either under construction or in the investment pipeline, the resource industry will play a key role in Australia meeting this objective.

“Since AWRA was launched in 2011, the resource industry has been working to increase women’s employment from the national industry average of 15 per cent to 25 per cent by 2020.

“As governments around the world commit to policies that will support the greater participation of women in the global workforce, the Australian resource industry is already doing its part by continuing to focus on innovative and practical strategies at a workplace level.”

Ms Diamond says the AWRA Recognised Program is one such initiative that is helping the resource industry to improve the way it attracts, retains and develops women employees.

“AWRA Recognised assesses how well workplace policies and practices support workforce diversity and inclusion,” she says.

“The program provides resource employers with a roadmap to improve the way they attract and retain women across all levels of their organisations.

“This includes practical strategies such as changing the language used in recruitment campaigns, targeting female graduates, reviewing pay equity, and mentoring and professional development support for women.

“Resource sector organisations including Farstad Shipping, BHP Billiton Manganese Australia and Caterpillar Australia have stepped up to take part in the pilot round of AWRA Recognised as part of their commitment to secure the benefits of more gender diverse workforces.”

As well as discussions on key AWRA initiatives, delegates of the AWRA Forum will hear from companies including St Barbara, Iluka Resources, Deloitte Australia and Georgiou Group.

A special panel session on employment participation by Indigenous Australians will feature Fortescue, Leighton Contractors, Morris Corporation and Australian Indigenous Women in Mining.

Click here for the AWRA Forum program.

Click here for a PDF of this media release and relevant media contact.