Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Activities to Guide Businesses with Diversity Strategies and Support STEM Career Progress for Women in Resource Sector
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Activities to Guide Businesses with Diversity Strategies and Support STEM Career Progress for Women in Resource Sector

A series of free activities will be held in Mackay in coming weeks with the long term aim of improving the gender balance within science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leadership roles in our regional engineering and heavy industrial sector. 

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A Gender Strategy Diversity Toolkit will be launched on February 2 to start the next stage of the Equation 4 Equity program being delivered by Resource Industry Network. Following on from this Diversity Workshops for Business Leaders will be held, along with courses for women within the early stages of their careers in STEM, especially apprentices, trainees and university students.

This follows research gathered from the Equation 4 Equity (E4E) program survey, which showed 86% of respondents see value in supporting initiatives to assist women further their careers into leadership roles.

The survey identified the following top three challenges and opportunities:

Challenges

  • Family responsibilities – Lack of family friendly working conditions, including childcare, rosters and post-maternity duties.
  • Negative bias – Negative attitudes towards women in male dominated industries.
  • Limited opportunities – Lack of opportunities to be mentored and having experience in leadership roles, driven by the low current 5% of females in the labour pool.

Opportunities

  • Policy & Programs – The introduction of diversity targets and equal opportunity legislation.
  • Technology – Advancement in IT and digital technology which will facilitate the ability to work from remote locations (home).
  • Sector growth – The current and impending skills shortage.

Resource Industry Network has been awarded a grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science as part of their Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (WISE) program to deliver an 18 month program aimed at working towards attracting and retaining more women into careers in these exciting industries.

The E4E-MIW (Equation for Equity – Mackay, Isaac, Whitsunday) program began in early 2017 with the aim of increasing the retention rate of women in STEM careers in the sector and supporting them and business to ensure there are more women leaders in the sector.

General Manager Adrienne Rourke, said the next phase of the program includes the rollout of a series of workshops for both employers and female employees across Mackay, Bowen and Moranbah aimed at helping attract, recruit, retain women in the various industries.

“With funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, we will be working with industry and community leaders to identify opportunities to embrace a more diverse workforce through the Equation for Equity project.”

Adrienne said the free workshops were aimed at working directly with the local industry to assist businesses to develop policies, procedures and practices that will retain staff over the long term with the end result of having more women in management and leadership roles as their career progresses in the sector.

To register for any of the events or coaching sessions, please go to the Women in STEM page of the Resource Industry Network website - http://www.resourceindustrynetwork.org.au/women-in-stem-mackay-isaacwhitsunday For more information on this project please email admin@resourceindustrynetwork.com.au

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