Social Research Methods



Globally, gender inequality is a challenge that affects women in many areas such as work place. In this context, the main focus will be in Australian mining industry whereby despite the presence of boom conditions, there remains the challenge of gender inequality. In the society, a woman is perceived as a person who should not occupy male dominated jobs. This research aims at answering the question, ” what are the impacts of gender prejudice practices on women in Australia`s mining industry?”. The research explores gender prejudice in Australia`s mining industry and the impacts on their motivation, enthusiasm, commitment as well as the satisfaction level of workers in their workplace.

Gender, embodiment, and place

The research answers the question” does gender, embodiment and place of work affect how particular industries both understand and respond to shortages regarding skills.  The main aim of this article is to examine shortages in skills in Australian mining and food and beverage industries (Bryant & Jaworski, 2011). The research was conducted in Australian rural areas since this is where mining, food, and beverage industries are situated. 

Findings, limitations, and strengths

After research, it was found out that the main employers outside agriculture usually experience challenges in both attracting and retaining employees in rural and remote regions of Australia. In the mining industry, the inadequacy of women is because of personal choices. However, in food and beverages industries, there exist traditional understandings of an ideal employee. One among the limitations experienced was in the use of telephone interview since visiting the premises to participate in deeper discussions with respondents was difficult. On the other side, building a good rapport with respondents before conducting the interview was among the many strengths of the research method.


A qualitative method was used to examine the gendering of skill shortages at various selected industry sites. Purposive sampling was employed in early stages of research to select persons, areas to acquire rich information. Qualitative data were gathered through in-depth, semi-structured telephone interviews (Bryant & Jaworski, 2011). The sample had 21 HR managers from both rural and remote mining sites where 10 were women, and 11 were men. There were also 23 HR managers with 15 men and eight women from the rural and local food processing industries.

The Australian mining industry and the ideal mining woman

Although there are good conditions in Australian mining industries, there remains women under-representation in the mining sector (Mayes & Pini, 2014). This drives us to the question “why women are under-represented in Australian mining industries despite there being boom conditions?” The research aims at examining the reasons behind this observation and the way forward to ensure there is equality in working places. The research was conducted in Australia by analyzing seven documents that were made available to the public and were produced by national organizations between the years 2005 and 2013.

Findings, limitations, and strengths

The seven documents used each one of them reported on the number of women recruited in the industry, and the number increases.  Despite these figures being small, they are usually celebrated as the firm success, whereas reversals are restructured. Reporting of these figures support consistency of industry attention to employ more women .Significantly, and additionally, these documents give a privilege to the industry as a judge of what satisfactory improvement constitutes. According to Mayes & Pini (2014), the industry presents itself as taking the responsibility of both defining and dealing with the issue of women under-representation in industries. One of the limitations of the research is that it is hard to get first-hand information since the study used written documents of which it is hard to determine the truth in them. One of the strength is that these materials offer specific perspectives specifically from mineral rich states of Australia and presents a national viewpoint.


The author uses discourse approach in examining the way seven documents build up the business case for the recruitment of women in Australian mining industry.  It is argued that a discourse perspective is useful in the study of contentious issues which are characterized by extensive textual activity. 

Factors affecting workplace decisions

According to Koch & D’Mello (2015), gender inequality remains to be a major concern in the majority of work settings. This research tries to answer the following question” what are some of the factors that affect decisions made in the workplace regarding gender discrimination. The main aim of this research is to explore some of these factors by the use of an organized framework of gender distribution in jobs. 

Findings, limitations, and strengths

After the study was conducted, one of the many findings was that men were preferred for jobs that were male-dominated. On the other hand, there was less preference for any gender in female-integrated jobs.  The findings hold up rater gender, motivation to make wise decisions and individuating information as useful elements that affect bias (Koch & D’Mello, 2015). One limitation is that the researchers were unable to test the majority of proposed measures underlying the impacts reported in the study. Consequently, it is hard for researchers to make strong conclusions concerning some of the moderator analyses, more so for female dominated tasks due to the inadequacy of studies as well as small sizes of samples.  


Several online databases were searched such as Google scholar, Theses, Sociological Abstracts among others, by a combination of key words which included; gender differences, sex discrimination, employment discrimination, employment selection, performance evaluation. Researchers also searched reference files from prior meta-analyses on gender prejudice. Additionally, references in review journal articles as well as meta-analyses that emphasized on various variables in experimental decision making studies, for instance, physical attractiveness, were all examined (Koch & D’Mello, 2015).

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Women prejudice remains a challenge in Australian mining industries. They are perceived as individuals who cannot do the same role done by men.  Women discrimination has affected the employment of women in mining sites. Also, ones who get a chance to be employed are usually given junior positions as compared to men who make them have low self-esteem. The Australian government and the rest of the world should ensure there is equality in workplaces to motivate women in realizing their dreams. It should be well understood that women have great ideas they can contribute towards the achievement of general organization goal. Therefore, the perception of women as inferior workers should be eliminated and be perceived as a strong work force. 

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  1. Bryant L & Jaworski K (2011). Gender, embodiment and place: The gendering of skills shortages in the Australian mining and food and beverage processing industries. Journal of human relations, 64(10) 1345–1367
  2. Koch, J.K& D’Mello, D.S (2015). A Meta-Analysis of Gender Stereotypes and Bias in Experimental Simulations of Employment Decision Making. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 100 (1) 128–161
  3. Mayes R & Pini B (2014). The Australian mining industry and the ideal mining woman: Mobilizing a public business case for gender equality. Journal of Industrial Relations 2014, Vol. 56(4) 527–546
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