Gender Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

The Centre is committed to fostering an inclusive and equitable organisational culture and a positive, inclusive, fair and equitable working environment for all members.

  • The leadership team leads by example and encompasses Equity and Diversity
  • We collectively create a safe environment, free from harassment, bullying and bias 
  • All opinions are heard without prejudice or retribution and Centre employees feel respected, valued and included
  • We encourage work-life balance and a family friendly atmosphere
  • We support and include everyone
  • We implement education programs fuelled by member feedback, and supporting the Centre’s GEDI priorities

    The Centre’s Gender Equity Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI) Committee, lead by Dr Ellen Moon, Centre Chief Investigator (Deakin) comprises team members from multiple nodes, and represents the diversity of cultures, ages, roles and genders within the Centre. 

    This Centre sub-committee strives to ensure Centre culture and values are embedded within Centre operations and culture through policy, training programs and other activities. Its priorities — guided by a member input — are tied to four key areas: 

    • Fairness & Respect
    • Valued & Belonging
    • Safe & Open
    • Empowered

    The Centre’s GEDI activities are gaining momentum in line with the Centre’s strategic plan, as explained by Deakin-based Dr Ellen Moon Leader, COEMinerals GEDI Committee 

    In 2022 we laid the foundation for the Centre’s GEDI work with a theme of inclusion’, and in 2023 we built on that with a theme of making connections’. 

    Connections are often best built in-person, and so we took the opportunity at the Centre’s Annual Conference to learn more about each other as people as well as scientists. 

    In response to member feedback, one of the areas of connection we explored in depth was cultural connections, with a view to learning about and celebrating the cultures both within and outside of our Centre. We delivered on this in multiple ways including small group discussions and a PhD-organised fun session of trivia night where we all learnt more about each others’ cultures, from foods and places of significance, to what culture meant to each of us. A highlight was a visit from the team at Speaking in Colour’, who, through a hands-on lesson in Aboriginal weaving taught us about Aboriginal history in the Newcastle region and shared their own experiences of Aboriginal culture. 

    Each node also supports activities locally to engage the team, build a community and celebrate Centre teamwork, as well as cultural and personal milestones, which are often also shared on the Centre’s LinkedIn social channel with our wider online community. We are also driving inclusion and understanding associated with mental health and well-being, for example supporting R U OK?’ and Movember’ charitable cause support, where our Mo-team’ raised more than $1,600. We help foster connections between Women in STEM in many ways, including supporting attendance at mineral sector networking events, such as International Women’s Day (IWD).

    We proactively highlight women in STEM across all of our engagements and commications channels, and reflect this gender equity across other programs, including school outreach, mentorship activities, Signature Series speakers and more. Behind the scenes, the GEDI Committee has been delivering on aspects of GEDI activity developed last year in support of the Centre’s strategic plan. 

    Acknowledging the complexities associated with GEDI-related actions we wished to tackle, we sought external expertise to guide us in key areas. We also worked on building a GEDI SharePoint site to house key GEDI information, Centre guidelines and policies, as well as being a space to recognise and celebrate the non-work aspects of member identities. We intend to finalise this for roll-out in 2024.

    Past GEDI action areas have included:

    • Team training on language, equity & biases
    • Establishing a mechanism for sharing & celebrating non-work achievements
    • Developing training, policies and support around bullying and harassment

    COEMinerals is contributing to the changing of the guard’ in the minerals and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sector.

    Diversity remains a challenge* in STEM and the mining sectors in Australia:

    • women make up around 36% of STEM course enrolments
    • around 11% of Engineering sector employees are women
    • around 20% of Mining sector employers are female.

    Key sources:

    1. https://​www​.indus​try​.gov​.au/​p​u​b​l​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​s​/​s​t​e​m​-​e​q​u​i​t​y​-​m​o​nitor

    2. https://​www​.engi​neer​saus​tralia​.org​.au/​s​i​t​e​s​/​d​e​f​a​u​l​t​/​f​i​l​e​s​/​w​o​m​e​n​-​i​n​-​e​n​g​i​n​e​e​r​i​n​g​-​r​e​p​o​r​t​-​j​u​n​e​-​2022.pdf

    3. https://​www​.wgea​.gov​.au/​s​i​t​e​s​/​d​e​f​a​u​l​t​/​f​i​l​e​s​/​d​o​c​u​m​e​n​t​s​/​W​G​E​A​-​G​e​n​d​e​r​-​E​q​u​a​l​i​t​y​-​S​c​o​r​e​c​a​r​d​-​2022.pdf