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AusIMM Diversity and Inclusion Survey 2024

· 1300 words, 5 min read

AusIMM’s 2024 Diversity and Inclusion Survey reveals insights for reflection, discussion and change. 

The survey, conducted between January to March 2024, received almost 700 responses.

It reveals a positive perception of individual organisations, but a less favourable view of the mining sector, with 57% rating the diversity of their own organisation as good or very good, compared to 32% for the sector.  

Looking at it positively, 88% said they felt respected inside their companies and 82% said they believe they would have rewarding careers. However, the survey paints starkly differing views on a range of issues, particularly the divergent perspectives of men, women, and people who identify as a LGBTIQ+.

Among the key findings:

  • 89% of men and 85% of women feel respected in their company, but a fifth of women don’t feel respected in the industry.
  • 3-in-5 women believe bullying is very common or quite common, compared to 37% of men.
  • 1-in-4 women say they have experienced sexual harassment in the past two years.
  • 16% of women and 8% of men said work had had a very negative impact on their mental health.

The full survey results, compiled by Quantum Market Research, can be accessed here.

Read on for a more detailed analysis and comparison with external studies. 

Survey in more detail


The survey received 691 responses, of which 56% were men (average age of ~47) and 41% women (average age ~37). The survey showed 7% identify as LGBTIQ+, and 1% as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, 74% of people were in full time roles, 47% commuted daily to work, 27% FIFO/DIDO, and 27% work from home. 

Company versus industry

Respondents rated their own organisation’s approach to D&I more highly than the industry. For example, 57% rated the diversity of their own organisation as good or very good, compared to 32% for the sector. For inclusivity ~66% rated their own organisation as good or very good, compared to 36% for sector. 


56% believe gender inequality is common or very common, 40% believe racism is common and 38% believe homophobia is common. 

Gender Gap 

Across a range of responses, men and women have differing views. For inclusivity 43% of men versus 24% of women rated the inclusivity of the mining sector as very good or good, while 36% of women versus 19% of men rated it as very poor or poor.

And there are significant gender disparities in witnessing negative behaviors for example 48% of women reported witnessing bullying compared to 24% of men. Women also more frequently reported witnessing racism (35% vs. 16%) and homophobia (22% vs. 9%).

Issues in the workplace/the resources sector, by gender.

Comparison to other industries

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) 2022 Time for Respect report here estimates:

  • 1 in 5 people were sexually harassed at work in the past 12 months.
  • 1 in 3 people were sexually harassed at work in the past 5 years (41% women, 26% men)

The report is one of the few to offer a comparison across industries but is limited by a relatively small sample across 19 industries, including only 63 respondents from the mining industry. The AHRC report (page 112) suggests mining has among the highest industry incidence rates behind the Arts sector, with Construction listed as the 'least worst' industry.

Comparisons with recent mining industry studies 

Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Program Landmark Study

In March 2024 the WA Government’s Mental Awareness Respect & Safety (MARS) program published the 161-page Landmark Study Report, detailing findings from a survey of more than 2,500 workers in WA’s mining industry developed by Curtin University and the Centre for Transformative Work Design. The reports finds:

  • Bullying - 16% of respondents (23% women, 11% men) experienced bullying at least 2-3 times per month in the last 6 months.
  • Site Safety - 53% of female FIFO workers reported feeling physically safe, compared with 73% of FIFO men.
  • Distress - 38% of people felt burnout, with 30% reporting high or very high levels of psychological distress, and under 24 years of age cohort reporting significant levels of poor mental health.

The survey asked 19 questions relating to sexual hostility, unwanted attention, and coercion (see pages 100-107) and found in the past 12 months:

  • 41% of women said they felt they had been ‘put down’ or ‘condescended to’.
  • 34% of women said they received sexist remarks.
  • 19% were touched in a way that made them feel uncomfortable.

AusIMM's Diversity and Inclusion Survey asked four questions regarding sexual harassment, with 39% (52% women, 31% men) believing sexual harassment was very common or quite common in the industry, and in their workplace 15% had witnessed it (26% women, 7% men), 8% had experienced it (16% women, 3% men) and 6% had reported it (12% women, 2% men).

Elizabeth Broderick’s Workplace Culture Reports

Elizabeth Broderick & Co (EB & Co) has undertaken several workplace culture reports, including for Rio Tinto in 2022 and Goldfields in 2023.  

The 2022 report for Rio Tinto garnered more than 10,000 responses, or ~20% of Rio Tinto’s workforce across 60 operations in 30 countries.  Almost half (~48%) said they had experienced bullying (53% women, 47% men) and in Australia 56% of women and 50% of men said they had experienced bullying behaviours. 

On the issue of sexual harassment, across Rio Tinto’s global sample, 28% of women and 7% of men said they had experienced sexual harassment in the past 5 years. Among younger cohorts the incidence was 34% for women under 25 years of age, and 38% of women aged 25-34. (See pages 6, 43,44) and women working on FIFO/DIDO sites reported significant rates of sexual harassment than men (43% versus 8%). (See page 62)

AusIMM's Diversity and Inclusion Survey results are slightly lower than the Rio Tinto results, for example 22% of AusIMM respondents said they had experienced bullying (compared to 48% at Rio Tinto). Of note, 46% of AusIMM respondents believe bullying is commonplace in the industry. 

Mental Health in the workplace

AusIMM's Diversity and Inclusion Survey found almost half of people reported that work had either a slightly negative (33%) or very negative (12%) impact on their mental health in the past 12 months, and that while 48% would be comfortable talking about their mental health while 28% would not.

Similar findings were made in 2022 research by the Diversity Council Australia, which indicates a third of people across all industries found work had either a negative (26%) or very negative (5%) impact on their mental health. The research highlighted that workers who feel part of an inclusive team were seven times more likely to describe their workplace as safe and supportive for mental health.

Conclusions and future directions

AusIMM's Diversity and Inclusion Survey, the recent WA MARS research, and wider industry studies describe consistent themes and challenges for the mining industry and broader society to overcome, including the need to:

•    Elevate psychological safety as an operational focus, and
•    Deliver a cultural shift in attitudes and accountability to foster a culture of respect, inclusion and allyship.

Taken together, the findings also highlight the need to continue exchanging best practice and increase training, awareness and support services in our industry.  

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the following:

  • 1800RESPECT offers confidential counselling and support, 24/7. Phone: 1800 737 732 | Website:
  • Lifeline offers 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Phone: 13 11 14 | Website:
  • 13Yarn offers 24/7 culturally safe crisis support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Phone: 13 92 76 | Website:
  • If you have experienced or witnessed workplace sexual harassment and would like to know where to get help, seek advice or make a complaint, information is available on the website.

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