Kaylene Munro gains training as an operator on a simulator. The mining industry is looking to women as a solution to the skills shortage.
Kaylene Munro gains training as an operator on a simulator. The mining industry is looking to women as a solution to the skills shortage. Peter Holt

Anglo American looks to women to boost workforce

ONE of Australia's leading mining CEOs says increasing the number of women in the workforce is a critical business imperative for resource industry organisations.

Speaking at the Australian Women in Resources Alliance Conference in Melbourne on Tuesday, Anglo American CEO Seamus French said attracting more female employees was a top corporate priority for the coal exporter.

With more than 2000 new jobs in its Queensland project pipeline, Mr French said women were a source of fresh ideas, innovation and skills for Anglo American, which operates Central Queensland's Callide, Foxleigh, Capcoal, Jellinbah, Dawson and Moranbah North mines.

"Traditionally, finding people for our future projects would mainly focus on the very competitive and limited Queensland underground coal mining pool, and this approach just isn't going to cut it anymore," Mr French said.

"Diversity gives us the opportunity to grow the resourcing pool rather than fishing it dry, and to make this happen we are creating an inclusive culture which embraces all employees, no matter their gender, ethnicity, age or religion."

Anglo American's Metallurgical Coal business employs 4500 in Australia and has improved the representation of women in its total workforce by 32% since 2010.

Today, 12% of its mine site employees are women and the target is to grow this to 20% by 2018.

"There is not one quick fix, so our diversity action plan has covered educating our leaders, setting targets for the number of women we recruit, building partnerships with schools and universities and supporting the women we already employ through mentoring and development opportunities," Mr French said.


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