There is, sometimes, a reason for single sex environments

The state’s sparsely-populated Pilbara region remains a major hub for iron ore extraction, with workers typically flown out for weeks at a time by the likes of British giants Rio Tinto and BHP, as well as US-based Chevron.

They live in camp-style accommodation and spend long hours in the company of colleagues. For women, this crowded, male-dominated environment can prove not only exhausting but potentially dangerous.

Many said they faced leering male colleagues on a daily basis, inappropriate comments about their bodies or sex lives, the theft of underwear from laundry machines, unwanted advances and repeated sexual assaults.

Would be interesting to know actually. When did these sites become non-single sex?

16 thoughts on “There is, sometimes, a reason for single sex environments”

  1. Damifino Tim. The ABC article mentions some bird working there in 2013 or 2014.

    Of course there’s mention of abo female domestic workers taking part in the strike of abo pastoral workers between 1946 and 1949.

  2. Women have been working there at least 20 years to my knowledge. Also, it seems a bit ridiculous that women should be locked out of well paying jobs because men can’t control themselves. If you think it should be a single sex environment, maybe punish the sex that has more of the perpetrators?

  3. The Meissen Bison

    Matthew L – There’s something disturbingly binary about your comment so please try to rein in the bigotry. Thanks

  4. Also, it seems a bit ridiculous that women should be locked out of well paying jobs society because men can’t control themselves.

    Does the same apply to those more vibrant areas where women are forced to peer out of letterboxes or be chaperoned at all times (and murdered if they give the chaperone the slip)?

  5. “Does the same apply to those more vibrant areas where women are forced to peer out of letterboxes or be chaperoned at all times (and murdered if they give the chaperone the slip)?”

    Of course not, because thats their culture which we must not criticise…….

  6. Bloke in North London

    I was working in similar camps (Queensland though, not WA) in 2004. Plenty of women working there, never heard of any issues. But my female colleagues were tougher than most of the men…

  7. Also, it seems a bit ridiculous that women should be locked out of well paying jobs because men can’t control themselves.

    Gay.

    Women were created in 4,000 BC to have babies and make us sandwiches. If they didn’t want Jet Set Willy, they wouldn’t be playing Manic Miner.

  8. “Does the same apply to those more vibrant areas where women are forced to peer out of letterboxes or be chaperoned at all times (and murdered if they give the chaperone the slip)?”

    Yes, of course. Sexist abuse is sexist abuse no matter where it is.

  9. If they didn’t want Jet Set Willy, they wouldn’t be playing Manic Miner.

    I suspect the “XX” Chromosome carriers are more likely to be carpet munchers than those seeking injections of vitamin Dick.

  10. Steve

    Sheer genius!

    Matthew L

    I understand your sentiment but from a practical perspective these jobs are usually physically demanding and involve long time away from families – more like a military posting. As Roue le Jour says – which is more important – mining the ore (especially as Australia is one of the leading denizens advocating ‘Net Zero’) or kowtowing to the small number of women that are unable to cope in this environment?

  11. @BiNL
    That’s my experience of women in general. I can remember working in industry. The woman dominated parts of the factory were bloody dangerous places to enter. Sexual harassment by them of passing males was rife The one’s I hang around with now can be literally lethal. One of the girls killed one man & seriously wounded another back where she came from.
    One can only presume they’ve started giving these sort of places HR departments. Don’t think I’d want to mess with a woman engineer or even the canteen staff.

  12. I saw a program a few years ago on mining in the Pilbara. One of the interviewees was a woman who drove one of those humongous dump trucks. She seemed to enjoy the job, and certainly enjoyed the readies she was earning.

  13. As a younger and (much more handsome) man than I am today, I spent 6 months working in a large brewery. The women there were fucking evil. I was terrified of them. On your birthday they would attack as a mob, heave down your overalls and dye your tadger with the date marking ink. I swear I can still see a tinge of that in the right light. But that’s sexual equality for you. Innit?

  14. At an outback coal-mine I visited in the late eighties there were certainly women working in the canteen.

    Mind you it was less remote than the Pilbara; it had a little township.

    And the huge hole in the ground and its monster machines were bloody impressive. When I first looked at the hole I thought “Christ, this is our equivalent of the pyramids!”

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