AWRA is a federal government and industry funded national initiative managed by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) dedicated to facilitating the increased attraction and retention of women in the resource, allied and construction sector workforce. Women currently make up only 16% of the resource sector workforce.
AWRA brings together for the first time a diverse range of stakeholders from across industry, government, professional women’s groups and academia to work together to address key barriers hindering women’s greater participation in the sector. AWRA is unique in establishing a coordinated, national, unified voice on gender diversity best practice for the resources sector.
“We should engage with and retain the most talented teams. Although we have made progress, we can still do much more to attract and retain women in our workforce” (Terry Burgess, Managing Director and CEO, Oz Minerals Limited) AWRA is funded to implement strategies and services that directly support recommendation 5.5 of the National Resource Sector Workforce Strategy, specifically the opportunity to address the national skills shortage by tackling the issue of the under engagement of women in the workforce.
AWRA has agreed to work towards increasing the participation of women in the sector to 25% of the workforce by 2020. In addition, to closing the skills gap AWRA wants to realize the dividend a more gender diverse workforce will bring to the sector; higher productivity and innovation.
“Our industry needs to make it a strategic business priority to maximize gender diversity in our organizations. This will help enable us to realize our full potential.” (Executive Director, Industry, Minna Knight).
AWRA was launched at AMMAs West Coast Conference in November 2011 and then subsequently AWRA launched its key Way Forward paper on International Women’s Day, March 8th 2012. Both events received significant media coverage.
AWRA has a key Reference Group and Leadership Committee comprised of individuals that represent the breadth and depth of stakeholders from across Australia. AWRA has commenced a series of key activities to realize it’s objectives; including establishing an AWRA accreditation process, managing an AWRA induction, training and mentoring program, preparing a series of AWRA Way Forward Guides on key gender diversity strategies and facilitating and building consensus on an ongoing basis amongst key stakeholders through meetings, conferences, newsletters, a support facility and website management to enhance gender diversity in the resources sector. Visit AWRA at www.amma.org.au