MineralsCouncilSAMining Weekly reports that the Minerals Council SA (MCSA – previously called the Chamber of Mines) has published a new White Paper on Women in Mining to promote gender diversity and inclusion across mining operations.  

The paper, focusing on improving the representation of women in the sector, aims to accelerate the implementation of industry’s strategies and provide impetus for the advancement of women in the industry.  It proposes action plans for companies to ensure women, who make up only 12% of the mining industry’s workforce, are provided equal opportunities and pay and a safe environment to work in.  “The participation of women in business has been shown to positively influence the bottom line of companies and to contribute to enhanced sustainability,” Vedanta Zinc International CEO and MCSA board member Deshnee Naidoo said on Wednesday.  Speaking at a media briefing, she explained that the “true potential” of SA’s mining sector, which still lagged many countries in terms of gender equality, would be “unleashed” once the target of a 50:50 gender split was realised.  The MCSA will establish a task team to oversee, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the White Paper.  In line with this, the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC), which deals with issues relating to ablution facilities, sexual harassment, personal protective equipment, the impact of mining on reproductive health and the requirements of physical work, will establish a separate committee on women in mining.

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