Women in Mining: Inclusion will create a stronger, more productive industry

June 2018: Bolstered by the massive social movements that have been happening recently around the world, the demand for gender equality in the work place is being addressed across industries, and mining is no exception. While equality has been sought after by women in the mining sector for decades, it is relatively recent that these movements have gained momentum to challenge and change the male-leaning equilibrium.

Mining is traditionally, and is still very much so, an industry that excludes women. There are over fifty Women in Mining non-profit organizations across the world dedicated to increase diversity and inclusion in the industry in their respective countries and regions. Women in Mining groups often work with companies and governments to make maledominated work places more women-friendly and to increase fair opportunity for women to enter into top mining positions.

There are signs of progress. As a report from the South African employer organization the Chamber of Mines states: “The number of women working in the mining sector has increased significantly in the last 15 years or so – from around 11,400 in 2002 to around 57,800 in 2015. Women now represent over 13% of people in the mining industry.” The Chamber of Mines is implementing measures such as safety protocols and adapting equipment to make the industry more inclusive. The Women in Mining South African division works to not only enforce these plans but also to “provide a forum for support and guidance for personal growth, leadership and career development for women by building relationships within the mining industry.” (Read more)