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The Future of Indigenous Women In Mining and its Challenges

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

Insights from Florence Drummond, CEO & Co-Founder of IWIMRA (Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia)

IWIMRA aims to create a stronger connection amongst Indigenous women in Australia’s Mining and Resource sector.

Noel Ong, CEO of Samso, has been keeping his eye on the development of ESG, and the Social aspect is what he is focusing on here. For him, a key component of making ESG work is to create a greater awareness of First Nation requirements.

And this is where Florence Drummond, CEO and Co-Founder of IWIMRA comes in.

Ms. Drummond is a part of Samso's ESG series of Conversations and as an avid ambassador of her cause, she brings valuable insights to help us understand how encouraging the participation of the indigenous population is a way to boost sustainability.

The mineral resource sector is a high value component of Australia's GDP so naturally, one would think of encouraging the First Nation population to participate in the continued growth of the industry. And because mining projects are in remote areas, it makes sense to get the indigenous population to join in and create wealth in the community by encouraging employment.


00:00 Introduction

01:00 All about Florence Drummond

01:46 How do you start the topic of Indigenous Women in Mining.

03:43 How is the process of Indigenous people moving into employment?

04:55 How has the importance of education progressed in the First Nation mindset?

06:56 Young Florence travelling outside Australia

09:23 How has the awareness from her "World" helped the Indigenous cause?

11:23 How do you break the "Stay At Home Mum" image of women?

15:27 What is the goal of IWIMRA going forward?

16:29 Can Role Models encourage ideals?

18:29 Do you feel the need to break cultural traditions?

20:02 The importance of understanding Culture

21:25 Florence's thoughts on Indigenous people's place in the ESG Conversation

22:45 Conclusion


About Florence Drummond

CEO & Co-Founder


Florence Drummond leads IWIMRA, a community for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the mining and resources sector. Founded in 2017 with the focus of raising the profile of Indigenous women, the national network is now stepping into the international arena and engaging with all Indigenous peoples in the sector. It is an organic shift into the NFP space to better contribute towards best practice.

Florence's introduction to the mining industry was as a Machine Operator. Within the eight years of her time working directly for tier one companies, alongside her national team, she has successfully built IWIMRA as a peak body for Indigenous relations within the sector. Her international participation and experience in attending forums such as UN Commission of the Status of Women in New York and also representing Australia at the regional forum of UN ESCAP in Bangkok, has continued to shape the expectations of the network to contribute at a policy level to ensure best practice for Indigenous stakeholder engagement in the industry.

In 2020 Florence was recognised as WIMUK Global Top 100 Most Influential Women in Mining, joining a cohort of influential women who continue to reflect and uphold what good leadership looks like.


Indigenous Women In Mining and Resources Australia

Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia (IWIMRA) was founded in 2017 to create a stronger connection amongst Indigenous women in Australia’s Mining and Resource sector. IWIMRA partners with industries to continually raise the profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and to contribute to best practice solutions.

Through their lived experiences, and their narrative of Indigenous intersectionality, it is their priority to ensure the visibility, voice and quality participation of Indigenous women.

IWIMRA aspires to lead with clarity and purpose. Working with industries to build solutions-driven, cross-culture influential relationships, together they continue to contribute towards a sustainable future for everyone

1. Why does IWIMRA exist?

To raise the profile of Indigenous women in the mining and resources industry

2. What does IWIMRA do?

As a membership based organisation, IWIMRA aims to build an online community to engage in conversation with women across the industry. Our digital platform is designed to overcome geographical barriers with the core aim to identify gaps for career progression and opportunities to improve for Indigenous women. Furthermore, promote culturally safe professional development tools, access to community of mentors, quality opportunities and brokering greater relations with key industry stakeholders. IWIMRA is focused on building capacity that is fit for purpose, to align with the innovative nature of the mining and resources industry.

3. Who does IWIMRA benefit?

IWIMRA is established to benefit Indigenous Women in the mining and resources sector. Indigenous women are identified as the cornerstone of many families and communities. Indigenous women's participation and influence in the industry can be utilised to strengthen relations within the Indigenous workforce, to promote retention initiatives. From a global perspective, Indigenous women are identified as most vulnerable, in their opportunities to innovate with the fast paced society. The mining and resources industry is informed by global instruments such as the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

4. How will IWIMRA achieve its goals?

IWIMRA will achieve its goals by strengthening its digital platform, which encompasses key focus areas that include: access to professional development pathways services, community of mentors and relations & investment by employee companies. This partnered approach to raising the profile of Indigenous women in mining and resources, will ensure transparency, accountability and ownership.

5. What does success look like?

Success for IWIMRA will be a self sustaining network of confident, capable and informed women. Leading the conversation internally for specific Indigenous initiatives and contributing to industry best practice. The success of our digital platform to facilitate robust conversations within the mining and resources industry which will continue to promote and inform best practice, with a lens that is culturally safe, future focused and fit for purpose.

To learn more of IWIMRA's membership opportunities contact here.


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