headgearMining Weekly reports that Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo has called on the SA mining industry to “change the gender narrative” and to engage in conversations about the lack of female representation in the industry.  

According to recently published statistics by the Minerals Council SA (previously called the Chamber of Mines), of which Naidoo is also a board member, the local mining industry has a female representation of only 12.4%.  Delivering a keynote address at the eleventh yearly Women in Mining Conference, in Midrand, on Wednesday, Naidoo stated that the industry was still not seeing the required step change with regard to including more women.  She further noted that “unleashing women at their full potential, individually and as a collective, is the single, most untapped resource that [the industry has]”.  In line with the findings of the Responsible Mining Index of 2019, Naidoo mentioned that “very few mining companies show evidence of systematically showing that operations address gender issues”, despite companies reporting on initiatives, aims and goals towards increasing female representation.  For gender parity to become a commitment that the entire mining industry could agree to, she suggested that companies develop “clear, specific and measurable targets for increasing the number of female employees in an operation”.  Vedanta aims to ensure a 30% women representation across the company’s 90,000 global employees, by no later than 2022.


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