16 Percent of Workers in the Mining Industry Are WomenBy Antonio Trujillo | Mon, 10/25/2021 - 10:57
The number of women working in the mining industry has grown steadily since 2008. In 2020, that number has risen to 16 percent, and this trend is expected to increase in the years to come.
Before 2008, there were no women working in the mining industry. Nonetheless, according to the latest 2020 data, in 2020, almost 60,000 had been incorporated into the industry in all capacities. Doris Vega, Vicepresident of Women in Mining Mexico (WIM), said based on data released by the National Institute of Statistics (INEGI) last year, women now represent about 16 percent of all workers in the industry.
Vega added that salaries in the metallics mining sector are up to 73 percent higher than the national female average, while in the non-metallics is 26 percent higher. The wage gap between men and women is closing in as well. In the labor market, 45 percent of women are unionized within the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX), a 3 percent increase with respect to 2019. Of these unionized workers, 45 percent are in administrative roles, 26 percent in managerial roles, 23 percent in technical roles, and only 6 percent in executive positions. In 2020, for instance Karen Flores was named CAMIMEX’s general director, at the time, the first woman to occupy such position. The organization has invested approximately MX$26 million to implement gender equality measures.
It was during her participation in the 34th International Mining Convention that Vega announced those numbers to companies, journalists, and key industry leaders alike. She added that 2020 saw a 38 percent increase, compared to 2019’s 36 percent increase, in the number of women studying 11 different earth sciences majors in 53 educational institutions. The most popular majors for women in the sector are geology, mining, metallurgy, as well as técnico superior (associate’s degree) in mining.
Ana María González, President of WIM Mexico said in an interview for MBN that the organization has been instrumental in increasing the number of women working in the industry, especially in the last five years, thanks to “women feeling more secure and confident in regarding their role in mining and the contribution they can make. They feel very motivated because mining is among the industries that greatly promotes gender equality.” Though challenges remain, especially facing and combating the infamous ‘macho culture,’ which makes it difficult for women to perform certain jobs or tasks, González is confident participation of women will only increase.