It’s good to see that we are breaking from dated traditions of dividing jobs into “men’s” and “women’s” jobs. There has been a great devotion recently on the part of the Australian government to getting more women involved in traditionally male dominated professions, and nowhere is this truer than in mining. The Queensland government is offering a $20.000 incentive, scholarships for women who want to become – amongst other things – engineers and geologists. When it comes to mining jobs, QLD seems like a land of opportunity for women, as a lot of these fields are either closely related to the mining industry or have some relevance. Australia in general seems eager to promote this particular career path and by adding an element of diversity they give women a chance to prove themselves as good workers and build a career, and in return they get some more competition that leads to highly qualified workforce – it is a win-win situation. Here are some reasons why this might be a good career choice for a woman.
Mining jobs that require no experience or specialized training
It is tough for most young people starting out on their own in the world for the first time, especially since it can be quite hard to land a decent paying job without experience. There is a catch 22 situation where you need to work to get experience, but they only offer you work if you already have the experience. This was particularly a problem for young women in days past since their career options were often quite limited, so you had to compete with a lot of other women, most of whom were more experienced and wanted the job badly. In the mining industry there are a lot of jobs available that don’t require any previous experience like maintenance and cleaning jobs, being a part of the kitchen staff, working at the reception, as an assistant, doing filling etc.
The ability to get a qualification by taking short courses or specializing through apprenticeship on the job
A lot of the work done in the mines does require a very specialized set of skills, but these can be easily attained through some hard work on courses that can be completed relatively quickly. Things like mining site safety, drilling, metalliferous mining skills, dump truck and ore train driving can all be learned through a course. There is a lot of heavy machinery and vehicle operation involved in mining, and this does not require great strength or endurance. You might need an initial investment in this training, but it is money well spent since it is easy enough to learn with qualified instructors and once you become good at it you will have a very good chance of landing a job. Additionally some things you will be expected to pick up on the job as a beginner, and more experienced professionals will help clue you in. After a while you will be able to get further specialization in various areas, and there is a real opportunity for advancement if you are ambitious and willing to put in the time and effort it takes.
Mining jobs that don’t require great physical prowess
As we have mentioned there are a lot of opportunities right now for women to get a good education in a previously male dominated fields such as engineering, geology, IT and workplace safety. These are all areas that relate to the mining industry where female chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, geologists, project managers, accountants, system administrators, programmers, electricians, doctors and nurses, human resource managers, chefs, surveyors and social science majors all have an opportunity to get steady employment. Anything from a business degree to cooking skills can work in your favor and land you a mining job in Australia. Office administration jobs fall under this “no muscles required” category as well. This is a major field and it leaves opportunities for women of different educational backgrounds to find jobs, e.g. psychologists, physical therapists and even fitness trainers.
The willingness of mining companies to provide optimal working conditions for women
Companies are beginning to show that they not only welcome female employees, but that they appreciate their specific needs. By providing a comfortable, female-friendly work environment covering all the basic necessities like privacy, hygiene, proper apparel and child care facilities companies have really made a huge step forward with regards to gender equality in the workplace. Dealing with adequately with things such as maternity leave, breastfeeding, child care and on-site housing opportunities, has been done with a lot of class and tact that one doesn’t usually associate with seemingly rough environments like mines. This makes it much easier for more mature women, especially mothers to balance their work and family, as well as providing younger women with a career path that allows for long term planning.
It is safe to say that the myth of a “tough as nails” man working in the mines, where no woman should dare to venture, has been dispelled in recent times. Advances in technology have made mining jobs that are science oriented a good option for young, highly educated women, but they have also made a lot of opportunities in transport or operating heavy machinery for hard-working women of all ages and backgrounds. There are a great number of different jobs available and the companies are trying their best to make the mines a more comfortable working environment for women, so you should definitely give it a try.