Edited by Kate Hutchings and Snejina Michailova
Chapter 14: "They always look at you a bit oddly": Women developing career capital through international mobility in the mining Industry
While the global mining industry experienced strong growth in the years leading up to the recent economic crisis, it has not escaped the downturn experienced by other industries (The Economist, 2012). Indeed, a recent report by Deloitte (2012) shows that a growing number of mining companies are postponing large projects due to rising costs and uncertainty about the future. Yet, despite these near-term restrictions, some mining companies and government bodies are increasing their investments, albeit more cautiously. For example, a recent report by the Minerals Council of Australia (2012) states that: "The fundamental drivers of minerals demand growth, urbanization and industrialization, will exist for the next 20 years or more. Neither weaknesses in developed world economies nor a temporary deceleration in China will dampen these long-term trends." Compared to other sectors, then, it seems that the mining industry still offers relatively more expansive opportunities for employment and professional development than other industries. Given the global expansion of the mining industry (Deloitte, 2012), the careers of mining professionals are characterized by increasingly high levels of international mobility (Mayes and Pini, 2012; Peetz and Murray, 2010). The nature of that mobility can be diverse, involving relocation to and from geographically remote locations, where the work environment and the work itself may be physically and mentally demanding oftentimes requiring management of and adjustment to the cross-cultural complexities that such moves may involve.
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