Female miners brighten up workplace

PEOPLE do not usually associate the mining industry with girl power.

But they should when it comes to Gladstone and Rockhampton.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the Fitzroy mining workforce has one of the highest percentages of women compared with other Queensland regions.

But construction workforce figures tell a different tale, with far less women in the region interested in picking up a hammer or plunger.

One woman capitalising on rising numbers of women in regional mining and construction jobs is Stacey Head, whose business, she wear, specialises in brightly-coloured steel-capped boots.

The Brisbane-based entrepreneur is bringing hot pink, bright purple and other vividly coloured steel-capped boots to traditionally male-dominated workplaces.

ABS Labour Force data shows women comprised 13.8% of Australia's mining sector workforce, up from 12.9% in 2011 and 12.2% in 2008.

In Queensland's construction industry, the number of women has risen from 21,300 in August, 2004, to 28,600 in August, 2014.

Those figures will undoubtedly rise as employers like the Australian Mines and Metals Association aim to boost women's employment in the sector to 25% by 2020.

Ms Head said the changing demographic of workplaces had created a niche market for work gear more suited to women.

"It's not about turning work sites into fashion catwalks - it's about proper work gear made for women," she said.

"Why should women have to wear gear that's made for men?''

With her internet business booming, Ms Head is now opening her first shop, in Brisbane

"It's not just women in mining looking for this gear either,'' Ms Head said.

"It's very diverse.''

- APN NEWSDESK



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