Women are taking on traditional male jobs.
Women are taking on traditional male jobs. CONTRIBUTED

Women digging in to 'male' jobs

INDUSTRIES such as mining may no longer be considered to be "boys-only clubs", with more and more women choosing to enter male-dominated professions.

Mining Family Matters psychologist Angie Willcocks joined an expert panel offering guidance to mining women at Asia-Pacific's International Mining Exhibition in Sydney yesterday.

She said mining offered great opportunities for women who could adapt to life in a male-dominated industry.

"This might sound obvious, but any woman considering a mining career should acknowledge from the outset that she is entering a male-dominated industry," Ms Willcocks said.

"There's no point getting onto an outback mine site and realising you can't handle the blokey culture."

After speaking with a number of successful women in a range of male-dominated industries, Ms Willcocks has developed a series of tips to assist women who have swapped heels for hard-hats.

"Essentially, working and thriving in mining is about being yourself - a really super, in-control version of yourself," she said.

"It's worth drawing up a personalised management plan that considers the specific job as well as your own history and personality.

"A woman who grew up with three brothers, for example, will probably cope on an all-male mining team much better than a woman who grew up with few male role models."

Angie's tips

  • Pick your battles
  • Keep a sense of humour
  • Know which problems are yours to solve and which aren't
  • Be thick-skinned
  • Try new challenges
  • Know your industry and join industry groups in order to network
  • Avoid sexual relationships with colleagues
  • Be clear about your goals
  • Regulate your emotions

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