AWRA answers call for gender diversity

Original article published in Gas Today Thursday, 2 August 2012

AWRA answers call for gender diversity

Thu, 2 August 2012

The Australian Women in Resource Alliance helping the growing gas sector meet its skilled workforce needs through building greater gender diversity.

Australian Women in Resource Alliance (AWRA) Project Officer Marie Henry says that developing a greater level of workforce diversity has become a priority for employers embracing the great opportunities and challenges within Australia’s evolving energy sector.

“The country’s top six gas projects alone have a capital expenditure of more than $154 billion and the industry is reporting the shortage of professional and skilled workers could double by the end of this year,” she says.

To meet this challenge, resource industry employer group AMMA is facilitating AWRA. This part federally-funded initiative has a very clear objective: to boost the resources industry’s skilled workforce through the increased attraction and retention of women.

Ms Henry says “While women represent 45 per cent of the total Australian workforce, they make up just 16 per cent of the resource industry. This unfavourable figure has seen a number of industry stakeholders and academics unite under the AWRA banner to increase the representation of women in resources to 25 per cent by 2020.

“It may seem an ambitious goal, but we believe this can be achieved through the widespread implementation of workplace policies and procedures that both promote the employment opportunities abundant in the industry and ensure our workplaces cater to a gender diverse workforce.”

AWRA says that its Way Forward Paper is the first step in creating awareness of the economic benefits of gender diverse workforces.

The paper outlines how AWRA can facilitate the appropriate cultural change and promote best practice workplace policies to increase the participation of women in gas, mining and oil roles.

In coming months AWRA will also release its various Way Forward guides, which address a range of workplace practices and specific policies that will help our industry achieve this goal.

“Through support of the AWRA initiative, we can better promote the gas sector as an attractive career pathway for women and start making some real progress towards meeting our workforce needs,” says Ms Henry.

REFERENCES

Gas Today – http://gastoday.com.au/news/awra_answers_call_for_gender_diversity/076692/

Australian Minerals and Mining Association website

Diversity Economics Research – “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity programs”

I am doing research on “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity program’s” and currently have completed a research proposal and am looking to work with a number of organisations to participate in the study that would be interested in working with me on completing this work. My research has indicated that there are no proven causal links between Gender Diversity Programs and organisational profitability. As part of the study I will be developing a measurement framework that can then be used to measure both the effectiveness of these programs and any causal link to profitability – I refer to this as Diversity Economics.

Executive Summary:

This study will compare Gender Diversity Program frameworks for effectiveness, and identify and evaluate linkages to organizational profitability. It will focus on the effectiveness (or otherwise) of Gender Diversity Programs (GDPs) within organisations in an effort to explore their relationship with the recruitment and retention of women in senior leadership roles. The aims and objectives of this research are;

1. To establish a link between Gender Diversity Programs and profit;

2. To develop a repeatable framework for the measurement of this effectiveness;

3. To develop benchmarks that support the framework;

4. To prove a link to organisational profitability as a starting point to further study into the impact of gender on economies, i.e.: Gender Economics1.

This research proposal is the first part of a wider study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics by first establishing a link between Gender Diversity programs and organisational profitability. Gender Economics is an emerging field of study that builds on the theories of diversity and promotes the value of gender balance, particularly in the area of innovation and creativity. It recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy and extends the theory that the discipline of economics ”could be improved by freeing itself from masculine biases” (Ferber, Nelson 1993: 24). Diversity Economics focuses on the organisational economics of diversity programs and follows the concepts of Economic Diversity, ”as a way to achieve economic stability” (Wagner 1993).

The second part of the study, will take the established link between Diversity Economics and profitability further to develop quantified economic models proving the case for Gender Economics using a cost benefit analysis. This proposal only deals with the first part of the study.

[1] Gender Economics is an emerging field of study, see www.gendereconomics.com with the first annual conference being held in Madrid Spain in 2008
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