Fifteen Percent of Mining Workers Are Women: CAMIMEXBy Fernando Mares | Thu, 08/04/2022 - 15:58
As companies begin implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and factor in an environmental, social and governance (ESG) business approach, women are participating more in areas where they were historically excluded. In Mexico, the mining industry is paving the way to improve working conditions for women, having recently increased its share of women working in the sector.
According to Mexican mining chamber CAMIMEX’s 2021 Sustainability Report, the mining sector employs over 367,935 people in the country, of which 57,826 are women, representing 15 percent of the national mining workforce. What is more, women hold both operative and leading positions. CAMIMEX highlighted that the average income for women in the sector is 73 percent higher than the national average.
Experts acknowledge that the participation of women in the mining sector has been increasing at a slow but steady pace. According to Margarita Bejarano, Corporate Affairs and Communications Director, Argonaut Gold, women represented only three percent of the industry’s workforce over 15 years ago. “The sector has been challenging itself because mining is a traditionally male-dominated economic activity… with technological advances that the mining industry has triggered, the sector has improved its methods and processes,” Bejarano added.
Most women work in the manufacturing of nonmetallic mineral-based products, representing 44 of the sector's female workers, followed by 37 percent in the basic metal industry and 12 percent in the metal mining industry.
Bejarano, who has over 10 years of experience in the sector, highlighted that inclusion in the industry was often related to less physically demanding activities or care-related duties such as human resources or administrative work. Owing to the higher level of gender inclusion in technical and engineering studies, more women are now participating in other roles. Bejarano highlighted the importance of promoting inclusion and eliminating gender stereotypes. “Unfortunately, we do not yet have a woman holding managing director or director general position in the state [of Sonora], but we have women working at directive positions in different areas like purchasing, planning and geology, among others. This enables women to have longer careers and growing opportunities in the industry,” Bejarano added.
On June 15, 2022, Mexico celebrated the International Day of Women in Mining for the first time. The celebration was organized by Women In Mining (WIM) and aims to recognize the industry’s efforts toward inclusion as well as appreciate the participation of women in the sector.