Mining & Industry News
28 August 2020

South Africa – The Minerals Council South Africa has launched the first National Day of Women in Mining highlighting its focus on the implementation of initiatives designed to achieve stretch targets for the representation and advancement of women in the South African mining industry.

At present, women make up 12% of the mining workforce, compared to 6% in 2008.

The stretch targets set and agreed by Minerals Council members are to ensure that we at least double the percentage of women in mining by 2025 and ultimately work towards 30% to 40% women representation across the industry and 50% in management over the next decade.

Minerals Council vice president and chair of the women in mining leadership forum Nolitha Fakude said: “There are moral and regulatory imperatives to advancing women in mining. But there is an even more important point: No industry can continue to thrive if it only uses half of its population. When we bring in people with different skills and abilities to make a positive contribution, we get the best outcomes for the industry and for South Africa’s economy.”

Minerals Council chief executive officer (CEO), Roger Baxter emphasised that for the industry to meet the bold and ambitious targets they have set, will require not just real commitment from senior executives, but the inculcation of this changed culture across all levels in all our member companies. The Minerals Council women in mining leadership forum – the most high-level structure under the board – has representatives of CEO and senior executives from 16 mining company members.

“One small but significant step is that at the beginning of every Minerals Council meeting, there will be reflection on the continued importance of women in mining, the challenges that are being faced and the successes that are being achieved. This small step will ensure that we put gender on the agenda!”  Minerals Council vice president, and Women in Mining champion Neal Froneman, noted that this initiative was not something that was targeted only at women, but also at men at all levels of the industry.

Froneman also urged all mining industry leaders and employees not to forget the very real hardships faced by women in mining and in communities every day, especially because of gender-based violence. He urged everyone – men and women alike – not to simply be bystanders, but to report and stop gender-based violence and harassment both at work and at home.

Minerals Council South Africa press release extracts, 21 August 2020

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