The Australian mining industry and the ideal mining woman: Mobilizing a public business case for gender equality
Despite ongoing 'boom' conditions in the Australian mining industry, women remain substantially and unevenly under-represented in the sector, as is the case in other resource-dependent countries. Building on the literature critiquing business-case rationales and strategies as a means to achieve women's equality in the workplace, we examine the business case for employing more women as advanced by the Australian mining industry. Specifically, we apply a discourse analysis to seven substantial, publically-available documents produced by the industry's national and state peak organizations between 2005 and 2013. Our study makes two contributions. First, we map the features of the business case at the sectoral rather than firm or workplace level and examine its public mobilization. Second, we identify the construction and deployment of a normative identity - 'the ideal mining woman' - as a key outcome of this business-case discourse. Crucially, women are therein positioned as individually responsible for gender equality in the workplace.
Journal of Industrial Relations
Applied Economics not elsewhere classified
Business and Management not elsewhere classified