Women have the potential to change the face and trajectory of the mining industry in South Africa. My view is that this is a change we should and need to support.
However, for women to meaningfully participate and contribute to the industry, we need it to be robust, and enabling for women to thrive.
There is a strong business case for gender diversity. A diverse workforce has been shown to create a more inclusive culture. Diverse people bring diversity of thought to organisations, which results in better decision-making, stronger governance and improved economic performance.
It is important for mining companies to create policies that drive a gender mix of new graduate intake and that women are given fair treatment when promotional opportunities arise in the workplace. It is also vital that the industry better promotes itself to students at school level before they reach university, so that a career in the mining industry is a consideration.
This is an excerpt of a foreword written by Thabile Makgala, who is the current chairperson of Women in Mining South Africa (WiMSA). The foreword was first published in Inside Mining’s Women in Mining special interest publication (SIP).