New image attracts women

Published: 8 September 2014

A new image is required in order to attract more women to the forestry and mining industries, says Lisa Andersson and Maria Johansson, Luleå University of Technology.

Lisa Andersson and Maria Johansson interviewed personnel managers in the mining and forestry companies to identify what is being done today and how companies can work on gender equality measures. Corporate communication, and that they are aware of the importance to  consciously choose words, pictures or models that are not tied to the male values, it is important to change the image of the mining and forestry industries.

The idea that forest work is very heavy today is a barrier to the recruitment of women, according to Maria Johansson. But the forest industry is working to change the image to enhance the attractiveness to women. Today  40 percent of all forests is owned by women.

A skewed perception of working conditions are also present when it comes to the mining industry. As  new advanced technology is put into use, the need for highly educated workers has risen sharply. More female candidates for the positions are required to meet the needs.
 
The mining and forestry companies in Sweden are often found in small towns which often hampers recruitment, as young women often moves from the community. The researchers suggest that it is important to look also at male dominance and men's situation. Which men are working in the mines and forestry companies and which are the expectations on the men.
 
But what is it then that scientists think most effectively pushing equality stakes in the companies?
 
- Companies' increasing need for well-trained workforce and ensuring that the benefits of gender equality, among other things, to create a sustainable talent and diversity that affect the psychosocial environment, pushing equality actions says Lisa Andersson. I also think that  women need less help and more justice.
 
Research on gender in forestry and mining is conducted at the Department of Work Science, Luleå University of Technology, and is funded by the Vinnova and Nordmin. The research is  conducted in collaboration with companies Sveaskog, LKAB, Boliden, Northland Resources and Dannemora.
 
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