The Australian mining industry and the ideal mining woman : mobilizing a public business case for gender equality

Mayes, Robyn & Pini, Barbara (2014) The Australian mining industry and the ideal mining woman : mobilizing a public business case for gender equality. The Journal of Industrial Relations, 56(5), pp. 527-546.

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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.

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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 70271
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Australia, business case, discourse, equality, gender, mining
DOI: 10.1177/0022185613514206
ISSN: 1472-9296
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA) and SAGE Publications Ltd,
Deposited On: 16 Apr 2014 02:05
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2014 23:33

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