Gender Equality

Special Video Serie „Gender Equality in Mining”

18.12.2019 |

"There are as many CEOs called Andrew as there are women in the top 100 mining companies".

The mining industry is traditionally associated with heavy, manual intense labour. However, women account for between a third and a half of all employees, especially in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. Women and girls are particularly affected by the effects of mining. They are disproportionately affected by the negative consequences of the extraction of raw materials and at the same time benefit less from positive effects. This structural gender inequality not only undermines women's rights, but also the development potential of the sector as a whole. Strengthening women and girls is one of the best ways to achieve positive economic and integrative results in sustainable social development. However, most actors in the sector are still not specifically concerned with gender issues. Very few are interested in the topic or treat gender simply as an add-on. The sector programme Extractives and Development tries to counteract this attitude by raising awareness through interactive methods and by demonstrating the potential that gender equality can have for the industry.

For this reason, the Extractives and Development sector programme was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support the High Grade Media Special Video Series "Gender Equality in Mining". High Grade Media is a UK-based non-profit organisation that produces video interview series related to the extractive industry. This video series interviews women and men from different sectors (business, civil society and academia) related to the mining industry about their experiences with gender equality in the industry.

The linked video is a compilation of the individual videos.

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One of the interviewees is David Prager, who heads the Global Corporate Affairs department of De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer and trader. He is not afraid to speak bluntly: "If the industry stays on its current trajectory, we will hit gender parity in 202 years." This does not have to be the case. Incentives for the companies can draw attention to the topic. As an example, he cites that a diversified team leads to an increase in creativity and therefore productivity of the company. As soon as one mentions increasing economic profit, many companies are listening. Caroline Ngonze from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), mentions that the situation for women has already improved considerably in some African countries, but that challenges for women in the mining industry, such as fair wages or overcoming socio-cultural norms, still exist. She also lists measures to increase the percentage of women in mining. One example is the promotion of trainings for women in scientific or engineering subjects. Glynn Cochrane from the University of Queensland adds that "the corporate culture has got to be much more inclusive, it has to be much more attractive to women, it has to be something that they feel they want to join an remain in (...)".

The different interview partners in the video series are intended to illustrate the extent to which mining affects women as community members and women as part of the workforce or leadership in the mining sector. In this context, the challenges and opportunities faced by women in the sector will be addressed. The aim of the video series is to raise awareness of gender equality in the mining industry in order to bridge the gender gap. Weitere Interviewpartner*innen sind Katie Heller from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank, Gavin Hilson from the University of Surrey, Gladys Smith and Gillian Davidson, who (among others) sits on the board of International Women in Mining (IWiM).

For further information please contact Lisa Stellner.



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