Dean Laplonge publishes a book on gender in mining

Published: 13/05/2014

Dr Dean Laplonge who specialises in gender in mining through his consultancy Factive has recently published a thought-provoking book.

Just the words of the intro which can be downloaded (see link below) resonate.

We hope people will start listening to what he has to say as the mining industry really needs to change in many ways to develop further.

The masculinity culture needs to change but in my view the negative perception of the industry needs to shift as well as it isn’t attracting young women or young men to enter the industry.

 So you think you’re tough? Getting serious about gender in mining 

Written by Dean Laplonge
This book provides a critical look at “women in mining” and provides a compelling argument for a more contemporary approach towards gender in mining.
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The mining industry has been tackling the issue of gender for almost 25 years. But very little has changed.

So you think you’re tough: Getting serious about gender in mining brings together many of Dean Laplonge’s ideas and consulting experiences on gender and mining. In this book, he criticises the mining industry’s obsession with “women in mining”, and bemoans the lack of attention that is paid in this industry to broader research on gender.

Drawing on ideas from the fields of gender studies and cultural studies, Dean creates a new vision for gender in the mining industry which promises to break through the current impasse. Out is the old view of gender which relies on a distinct separation of men from women. And in comes a new view of gender which focuses on multiple and diverse ways of acting out as men and women. The shift appears simple, as we move from being genders to doing genders. But the application in the mining industry is proving to be difficult, not least because it demands we think about gender in terms of men and masculinities.

This book provides practical ways for mining companies to start introducing this new vision of gender into their workplaces. By focusing on the relationships between gender and safety, and gender and leadership, Dean argues we can begin to understand how mining is already gendered. And we can then finally start to develop real gender diversity on mine sites.


Dr. Dean Laplonge is a leading researcher and consultant in the field of gender, safety and communications. His current areas of interest include the gendering of resource industries, the discourse of management, and safety communications. Dean was the lead researcher on Factive’s “Mining for a Safer Masculinity” project (2009 – 2013) and the author of the new book So you think you’re tough: Getting serious about gender in mining (2014). He is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Sydney; and a committee member for the Gender Sector Study which forms part of the Mining Industry Human Resource Council’s (MiHR) Sectoral Initiative Program – Labour Market Intelligence project in Canada. He has extensive experience addressing gender and communication issues in the workplace for organisations such as BHP Billiton, INPEX, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals, Worsley Alumina, Nickel West and The Department of Mines and Petroleum (WA).