Resources sector to address workplace sexual harassment

Over half (or 62 per cent) of female employees in the resources sector do not perceive their industry as diverse, according to the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) 2020 survey.

This represents a 5 per cent increase on 2019’s survey, but almost five times as many female respondents also felt their individual workplaces were very diverse in comparison with the industry as a whole.

According to the survey, which involved more than 700 respondents, women in mining are eight times more likely to list diversity and inclusion as priorities than their male counterparts.

The survey also showed that 20 per cent of female fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers frequently experienced time pressures in relation to toilet access, which was double that of their office-based colleagues.

A further 15 per cent faced cleanliness issues, providing evidence of the need for practical solutions for women in mining.

According to the Respect@Work report released by sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins, gender-based issues spread across all industries.

The report found that two in five women (39 per cent) and one in four men (26 per cent) experienced sexual harassment within the past five years in the workplace Australia-wide.

Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) chief executive Tania Constable stated that mining industry employers should “note the report with alarm”.

“Harassment of any kind has no place in the minerals industry, or any workplace,” Constable said.

“Our industry’s first commitment is to the safety, health and wellbeing of our people, every individual should work in a safe, respectful environment.

“The MCA welcomes comprehensive recommendations, which propose a new approach for government, employers and the community to better prevent and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace.”