Women are roughly 50% of the population; yet, they are still considered a ‘minority group’. Women receive this infamous title not because they are outnumbered, but because they tend to have less power and privilege than their male counterparts. Although this rings true on a macro level, the resources sector is one in which women are a minority group in every sense of the word, both statistically and practically. To illustrate, according the Commonwealth Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the gender composition of the workforce by industry looks a little like this:
|INDUSTRY||% FULL TIME AND PART TIME: FEMALE||% FULL TIME AND PART TIME: MALE|
Statistics are all well and good, but what does it feel like to be a minority group in industry? We spoke to a lady tradie to find out. Margeaux Janenko is an electrician working fly-in fly-out on Barrow Island, an island approximately 50 kilometres off Western Australia’s Pilbara coast. This environment would be confronting for most, male or female! And although Margeaux loves her job, she describes being a minority group as ‘very isolating’. Glancing at the ‘mining’ statistics above, it is not hard to see why. ‘You are alone all the time. You aren’t one of the boys and you never will be. That’s why it’s important to get more women through the door’ Margeaux states. Indeed, the only way to bridge this divide is to increase the number of women in industry; something She’s Empowered is extremely passionate about.
If you are a woman in industry or you are looking to lend some support please visit She’s Empowered ‘Unleash’ community. Unleash is a community that opens doors for girls and women seeking apprenticeships and supports female mentors currently in trades. Unleash your potential, the possibilities and more opportunities! Let’s change what it feels like to be a woman in industry.