We strive to be an employment ‘destination’ of choice. The best teams are those that bring a range of experiences to the table, and we recognise the key to this is supporting, embedding and celebrating diversity in the workplace.

In 2019, the Macraes Operation started a journey which aims to achieve a gender ratio representative of the community in which it operates. Women accounted for 14 per cent of the workforce, while they make up 53 per cent of the New Zealand South Island population. On average, female employees represent 17 per cent of the workforce across mining companies globally; in Australia this average rises to around 22 per cent.

In February 2019, the Macraes Operation established a Women in Mining committee to support gender diversity and inclusion; generate – and action – ways to support women in mining; and to grow the number of women working at the Macraes Operation to better represent the regional population. In that same year, the Macraes Operation set a target to achieve 20 per cent female representation in the workforce by 2023.

The initial focus of the committee was supported by the Macraes Balanced Business Plan – Lead a Caring and Diverse Workforce Environment. Initiatives were initially drawn from the inaugural Women in Mining event in 2018 where women who were identified as showing high leadership potential came together to discuss what support networks and development was needed on site to give each employee an equal opportunity to succeed. Throughout 2018, the Women in Mining committee then took the first steps towards achieving their goals by engaging with a number of external businesses, such as Diversity Works, who help address gender diversity within local organisations.

By the end of 2019, the operation saw a three per cent increase in the number of women on site. The Open Pit team continues to lead the way in achieving the long-term goal with females representing 20 per cent of their workforce at the end of 2019.

In December 2019, the Women in Mining committee hosted their annual event, and invited women from across the operation to take part in identifying areas of personal growth and the skills required to be mobile in their careers. The event also provided the opportunity for male counterparts in leadership positions to attend and continue to understand how they can support and develop their female colleagues reach their full potential as part of a diverse team.

As the Women in Mining committee continues to evolve, there is hope that new groups of men and women from across the business will consider joining in to champion this change and help find ways to make the Macraes Operation an even better place to work. In 2020, the Women in Mining initiative will form part of a wider Diversity and Inclusion focus and the site has yet again committed to achieving another 3 per cent increase in female employees by the end of the year.

Image: The launch of the ‘pink bucket’ as part of a breast cancer fundraiser in October 2019