Most women would shy from taking jobs in the mining industry. But all this is in the past. (This was mainly due to inflexible hours, harsh working conditions and gender pay gaps). Today, all that is changing and more and more women have equal opportunities in this field. Even in developed countries like Australia, more women are seeking major roles in the mining and quarrying industries. Many mining and Oil and Gas companies are also looking to improve their female recruitment and retention in order to increase their productivity.
Forms of increased opportunities of women in mining today
Today, women can look forward to more flexible working hours, parent-friendly work rosters, appropriate uniforms, onsite day or child care, favorable working environments, competitive pay rates, extended maternity periods, breastfeeding facilities and even housing facilities on mining sites.
Challenges Faced in Mining Jobs in the recent past
Until the recent past; both men and women faced several challenges when it came to mining related employment. The major ones were: staying away from families which often led to strained relationships, shift works and long hours. Today, nearly 18% Australian women are managing and balancing mining jobs along with their family-life and all this also comes with flexible work packages and income benefits. The same is true in US, Canada and other developed nations.
Typical Jobs for women in mining
Qualifications in many areas can help one get a job in the mining sector. These include:
- Scientific roles- Those qualified in engineering, geology, Chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, social and geo sciences etc.
- IT specific roles- Database management, software etc
- Business- There is also a need for accountants, business admin, project managers etc in mining companies.
- Without qualifications too, many jobs in this field need women recruits. This includes hard hat roles like drilling, truck driving, mobile plant operators, operators of forklifts, blender hoppers (see more information on Kate over at Blenders101), graders, scrapers, backhoes, forklifts etc. Certification, training and license may be needed for some of these jobs.
- Other roles: Onsite fitness therapist, Chefs, medical staff and psychologists, personal trainers, etc.
6 Things you should know before searching for mining jobs
Naturally, there are many important things women should know before they seek a profession in the mining industry. Here are 6 of them:
- You might need to relocate- This is true if you are not living in mining regions. A job in mining could also invite an international move. However, many mining companies have their offices in cities where women employees are required.
- You must have good health, mentally and psychologically- Most mining jobs are shift based. You might be working in snow, extreme heat, dust etc. Stamina and psychological health are of utmost importance.
- Look at other avenues such as undersea mining jobs – Today, thanks to technology; mining is not restricted to land alone. Many women are working in rewarding careers in undersea mining jobs.
- Older women can also work in this field- Women in their 50s are also doing all kinds of jobs like catering, driving trucks, or as assistants to geologists etc.
- Driving license training and certification-You might need driver’s license and training plus certification for driving trucks, forklifts and other machines.
- On the job training- many mining companies offer training and new skills to their workers. So there is plenty of opportunity for growth.
So, if you are interested in a career in mining, make sure you research the company well. It is also important that you plan ahead with your family about the pros and cons of working in this field. Be prepared for hard work, as opportunities and initiatives will surely help you achieve your goals. For more information on jobs for women in mining, click here.