Fantastic news for women in the mining industry in South Africa as according “to the Chamber of Mines (CoM) 2017 fact sheet, it is estimated that about 57 800 women were employed in the industry from 2015 to 2016, compared with 11 400 in 2002. Women currently represent more than 13% of employees in the local mining industry, thereby exceeding the Mining Charter’s requirements.” Many have pointed to the promotion of diversity initiatives focused on women as a major catalyst to the recent growth. In addition diversity programs promoting minority owned mining companies has helped to change the narrative from a male dominated industry to one with opportunities among all ethnicities.
Another major factor “to the improvement is mining legislation.” Gold producer Harmony Gold corporate and investor relations executive Marian van der Walt “says the improvement was largely the result of legislation that promotes nondiscrimination and the targets set in the Mining Charter, which has made a substantial difference to the employment opportunities available to women.”
The change in mining opportunities is boding well for women and many believe this is only the start to growth which hopefully can reach 50%.