Staff Turnover Amongst Women a Concern for the Resources Sector

The results of the latest Resources Industry Turnover Analysis (RITA) Report show that staff turnover amongst women is substantially higher than for men despite ongoing initiatives to attract and retain more women in the mining industry.

Releasing the results of their latest survey, Bronwyn Earner, Senior Consultant at ME Solutions, commented that whilst overall staff turnover continued to fall, turnover for women was around 16% per annum whilst for men it was only about 10%. This is the first time we have broken turnover down on a gender basis and it is disappointing that despite a number of positive initiatives from both employer groups and individual employers that women are leaving mining jobs in greater numbers than men, Ms Earner added.

The RITA report used data from 50 mining and processing operations around Australia to benchmark employee turnover. Turnover ranged from as low as 3.0% per annum at one site to a high of 37.0% per annum at another site. Overall staff turnover in the mining sector is the lowest it has been since the survey began in 2005 and reflects tight conditions for many companies and reduced job opportunities for employees.

Turnover is measured by the percentage of employees who voluntarily leave the company over a 12 month period. “Although reduced staff turnover is having a positive impact on costs further research would be useful to determine whether employees, both male and female, are leaving the industry or just transitioning to other mining jobs. As our survey covers both residential and FIFO sites in regional areas we would expect turnover amongst women to be higher for a number of reasons but not to the extent that this latest data shows.” Ms Earner explained.

The higher turnover for women comes despite a number of pro-active programs from organisations like AMMA, the Minerals Council and state based minerals chambers, to attract and retain more women in the resources sector. Whilst these initiatives are to be applauded and complement a number of individual companies diversity strategies the latest figures suggest more work is required if the percentage of women working in the sector is to increase on a long term basis.

The survey which is conducted bi-annually was based on a sample of almost 30,000 mining industry employees from across Australia. The survey excludes corporate office employees and focuses on both mining and processing operations which include residential, fly in fly out and drive in drive out arrangements.

FURTHER ENQUIRIES to Bronwyn Earner on 0417 811537

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