Today's Labour News

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implatsheadgear smlMining Weekly writes that the mining industry remains male-dominated and much can still be done to address issues that specifically affect women.  

However, policies aimed at attracting, supporting and retaining women have led to a gradual, but steady, increase in the number of women in core roles, as well as in the industry in general, notes Kumba Iron Ore Kolomela plant manager Mandlakazi Semane.  Previously, South African women were prevented from being employed in underground mining activities and were underrepresented in engineering and technical disciplines, subsequently facing several obstacles when pursuing a career in mining.  This is said to be no longer the case.  Semane points to her sixteen-year journey at Kumba as an example, stressing that “where we are today is not where we were”.  Much has been done in terms of getting women accepted in a technical environment and, although there will always be challenges, there is also significant support, she adds.  Commentators suggest that the challenges facing women entering the industry today, generally, do not pertain to men perceiving women as incompetent.  Rather, the issues pertain to changing societal expectations, particularly with regard to motherhood and human dignity.

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