Monday, April 14, 2014
Equitable Employment for Women in Mining Industry in Laos and Thailand
Over the last six months the Australian-based Equitable Employment for Women in Mining Companies in Laos and Thailand research project led by Associate Professor Natt Pimpa and involving a team of researchers from RMIT’s School of Management and Global Urban Social Studies School, the University of Melbourne’s Nossal Institute for Global Health, National University of Laos, Thammasat University (Thailand) and industry partners from Laos (MMG) and Thailand (Akara Resources), has been undertaking the first stage of fieldwork.
In what ways are mining workplaces providing equitable employment for women? What actions are the mining industry taking to safeguard female stakeholders? What are the social and economic development impacts, particularly in rural areas, of women’s engagement in the mining industry? What changes in policy and practice could be taken by the mining industry to support gender equity and safeguard women stakeholders? These are the central research questions of the project.
The first phase of the project reveals that, although mining industry can improve women’s quality of life, international mining companies still need to promote women to play active roles in the mining industry and community. This research also shows that Australian mining companies have progressively shifted from a focus on eliminating difference between men and women to celebrating gender differences and valuing them equally by raising awareness of how traditionally feminine activities and styles can benefit the organisation.
In the next phase, the project has involved working with partners and multinational corporations in Laos and Thailand to learn more about out how international mining impacts women and the roles they play in communities and industry. The project’s activities have focused around capacity building and preliminary data collection in preparation for intensive fieldwork to deliver outcomes that support and promote gender equity development and minimise disadvantage to women.
The Equitable Employment for Women in Mining Companies in Laos and Thailand research project is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australian Aid) and contributes to RMIT University’s focus on critical issues that impact global businesses and communities.
There has been a huge degree of interest in this research project. The project will produce findings from new data and multiple perspectives (voices from management, employees, and community members) on a range of issues impacting women in mining communities and industry. It includes exploration of education, poverty alleviation, labour relations, community life and sustainability.
The project is over halfway through the first stage and on track to conclude fieldwork in the second half of 2014.
For more information visit the Mining – Development – Asia research project website http://seabiz.asia/ and twitter handle @miningforwomen
No wonder people are interested in the research, this could have huge repercussions and be replicated in other countries. We will all be waiting to read more with enthusiasm!