Charles Sturt University and Cadia partner in Women in Mining research

6 SEPTEMBER 2022

Charles Sturt University and Cadia partner in Women in Mining research

Charles Sturt University academics are commencing research to understand the role of the mining industry in providing women with opportunities to train and work in rural and regional areas in Australia.

  • The research aims to understand the role of the mining industry in providing women with opportunities to train and work in rural and regional areas
  • Women leaving the regions weakens communities and compromises regional development
  • The research hopes to support women to achieve opportunities to train and work in the mining industry in regional areas

Charles Sturt University academics are commencing research to understand the role of the mining industry in providing women with opportunities to train and work in rural and regional areas in Australia.

Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations (Cadia) have approved funding through their Cadia Cares program to support the University to undertake the valuable research.

Senior Lecturer in sociology in the Charles Sturt School of Social Work and Arts, Dr Donna Bridges, said, “Our research shows that women leave rural and regional areas to seek work much more so than men and there are indications that the mining industry has a role in reversing this trend”.

Associate Professor Larissa Bamberry in the Charles Sturt School of Business and Director of the Regional Work and Organisational Resilience Research Group at the University believes the perception that the regions offer women few opportunities is a problem for the sustainability of regional and rural Australia.

“Women leaving the regions weakens communities and compromises regional development,” Professor Bamberry said.

“The mining industry is a significant employer in regional areas and has shown commitment to increasing gender parity in its ranks.

“This new project explores this commitment and assesses the impact on the employment of tradeswomen, particularly trades that support mining such as those in electro-technology and automotive.”

Cadia General Manager Mr Aaron Brannigan said the new project will provide valuable outcomes to the whole mining sector.

“Through our Cadia Cares program, we are proud to support the research project being conducted by Charles Sturt University which will provide an understanding of how the mining industry can attract more women into skilled trades in regional and rural areas and help shape career pathways and opportunities within the industry,” he said.

Currently tradeswomen only make up about one to three per cent of all tradespeople and the industry remains heavily male dominated.

The NSW and Victorian governments aim to increase numbers of tradeswomen in the construction and building industries and have set ambitious targets for employers.

The Women in Trades team at Charles Sturt have found that many employers are seeking further guidance on how to attract female workers.

“Our research shows that further support for women and employers is needed to strengthen these initiatives and the mining industry has the resources to contribute,” Dr Bridges said.

While government plans include skills and training initiatives for tradeswomen, the Charles Sturt Women in Trades team say that these are not enough to retain women in the roles once training is complete.

Flexibility in the workplace is one way that the mining industry is currently focusing on retaining women.

“Diversity and Inclusion is a core part of our 2025 Newcrest Strategy and continues to be a priority at Cadia, as we ensure the workplace is culturally accepting and inclusive of all aspects of diversity,” said Mr Brannigan.

The focus of the current project is to support women to achieve opportunities to train and work in the mining industry in regional areas and contribute to the vibrant sustainability of regional Australia.

The project begins with the launch of the ‘Women in Mining’ Survey which can be accessed by contacting Dr Bridges. For more information about this project and to participate please contact Dr Donna Bridges via dbridges@csu.edu.au


Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Donna Bridges contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via news@csu.edu.au 

Image provided by Cadia.

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