By Takudzwa Josiah
Women in the Mining sector have called on education stakeholders, parents and guardians to ensure the girl child is guided to realize the lucrative opportunities presented by the country’s mining sector. They say this will bring the desired equality into the extractives sector.
The mining sector has been notorious for being male-dominated with women taking only lowly and insignificant positions in both the formal and informal sectors.
Speaking at a virtual multi-stakeholder engagement women in mining, mining associations led by women, mining communities from Bubi, Gwanda, Hurungwe, Shurugwi, Marange, Mutoko, and Zvishavane indicated that there is a need to push for a balance in the sector.
“As individuals, we also need to reflect on how we can contribute to changing the discourse for example when we are doing career guidance how much of the lucrative opportunities in the mining are we telling the girls we advise,” said one woman miner.
She also said, “there is no way we can end up with 50-50 women executives or CEOs in the big mines with the girl child have the necessary qualifications that are needed for the jobs.”
She highlighted that “there is need to provide career guidance that there need to sell a good narrative to the girls about the mining sector.
Other Women added that it is important for women to move up the hierarchy into higher offices.
We also want women to be in those positions where they become the CEOs for DeBeers, Murowa, Murowa and the like not just to be relegated to in Administration, PR and marketing work.” said another woman miner
She highlighted that “women should be in the hardcore positions like mine captains where they contribute meaningfully.”
Research by Bloomberg showed that the proportion of women employed by mining companies sits at around 15.7%, up only 1% in the past five years – and the numbers are worse at the management level. Just one in 20 global firms is headed by a woman.
Mining continues to lag behind in its progress on gender equality.