Newly budgeted Federal funding has been extended for a successful online mentoring program for women working in mining, oil and gas.
The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) e-Mentoring Program is an Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) initiative, launched in early 2013 with a mandate to provide valuable support to women forging a career in the resources sector.
A total of $440,000 has been allocated to the program for FY2014-16, a spokesperson for AMMA said.
The program was granted an initial $460,000 for two years, which went toward development and implementation of the program.
AMMA industry services executive director Tara Diamond said that more than 150 resource professionals have already benefited from the AWRA e-Mentoring Program.
The program facilitates a nine-month online mentoring relationship tailored to the remote locations and non-traditional work schedules of many resource workers.
"The federal government's decision to continue joint-funding the AWRA e-Mentoring Program for another two years mirrors the commitment of resource employers to build a pipeline of female talent, Diamond said.
“Women have a critical role to play in ensuring the industry has the skills and talent to build and operate major resource projects well into the future, however the workforce is not as diverse as it could be.
“Investment in initiatives like AWRA is vital if we are to see women's participation in the sector increase from the current 15% to our goal of 25% by 2020.”
Following the program’s initial success in 2013, Diamond said the e-Mentoring scope will now target demographics of women which are particularly underrepresented in the industry.
“AWRA will bring on board experienced male and female mentors to engage with Indigenous and recently trade qualified women in the resources and allied sectors, as well as graduates in non-traditional roles,” she said.
“The real value of the e-Mentoring program is that each mentee has access to the most appropriate mentor from a variety of levels in the resource, related construction and allied service sectors, anywhere in the country.
“For a woman working on a remote mine site or oil rig, a connection to an experienced professional working in a different state or on another project can make all the difference to their career development.”
The e-Mentoring program is part of a suite of AWRA initiatives designed to attract, retain and develop women in the resource industry, including the AWRA Recognised Program, which is the industry's first assessment of a resource organisation's gender diversity capability.