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Company gains permission to recruit only female drivers
November 15, 2013

Downer EDI Mining in Australia will be allowed to advertise 50 women-only truck driving jobs a year at Queensland opencut mine sites without facing discrimination action, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled.

The tribunal granted an exemption under the Anti-Discrimination Act to allow it to specifically recruit female entry-level operators, The Australian reported.

Downer EDI Mining, one of Australia's largest opencut mining services contractors, said it wants to "break the stereotypes around gender and occupation.”

The company said it wants to employee female drivers because it felt that male drivers are more susceptible to risk-taking and an increased female workforce at mine sites would help to create a better safety culture.

It will employ 10 females to start out driving trucks at each of five central and southeast Queensland opencut sites each year, the tribunal heard.

The company sought an exemption because it was concerned that it could be liable for action for unlawful discrimination if it advertised women-only jobs.

Downer EDI Mining told the tribunal skills shortages and the desire for a better gender balance were behind the initiative.

The company will recruit female truck drivers who will live in townships surrounding opencut sites or in central Queensland towns accessible by flight or car.

It said it also would develop site cultures and support mechanisms to “break female stereotyping at sites.”

Senior tribunal member Clare Endicott said that the company had made compelling submissions for a general exemption under the Anti-Discrimination Act.

Endicott said as well as advertising female-only positions, the company would use other non-discriminatory ways of increasing the female workforce.

The company will recruit female truck drivers who will live in townships surrounding open-cut sites or in central Queensland towns accessible by flight or car.

It said it also would develop site cultures and support mechanisms to “break female stereotyping at sites.”
 

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