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Initiative Opens Path to More Women in Mining

By Ana Laura Muñoz - RAMA Mantenimiento Industrial Total


By Ana Laura Muñoz | Director General - Tue, 07/18/2023 - 14:00

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According to the Global Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum 2022, despite increased commitment toward and investment in reducing the diversity gender gap, progress is slow. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023 insight report released in January  indicates that at the current rate, it will take another 151 years to close the global economic gender gap at all levels.  

We can also observe in studies, such as the Women and the Mine of the Future Global Report conducted by the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development, that if we want mining to become more inclusive and contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — specifically of SDG 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and SDG 8 on inclusive growth and decent work — data collection and analysis of the current situation in companies is necessary. Also, the companies need support with tools and guidance to navigate the transition toward the mine of the future. 

On May 30, 2023, the study, Women of the Mining Industry in Mexico 2023, was presented. This study was carried out jointly by KPMG and the inclusion and equity commission of the Mining Chamber of Mexico.  This study was conducted considering the opinions of more than 1,200 women working in the Mexican mining sector to know their perceptions and current work situations. Among the results is that most of the women surveyed seek to grow professionally and develop new skills in the sector, which speaks of their interest in remaining within mining. They also indicated that achieving work-life balance and a cultural shift in society about the role of women in business are crucial factors for their future success.  Among the main challenges identified by the women surveyed are achieving a balance between personal and professional life and the lack of an inclusive and equal work culture in terms of opportunities. When asked if they perceive or know of the existence of gender equity standards within the companies where they work that promote pay equity, the majority answered that they do exist but that there are areas for improvement.

Since the integration of  Mujeres WIM de Mexico, the following have been among our objectives: a) to have real data on the employment situation of women in the mining sector, b) to recognize companies that are actively working for gender equity in job opportunities and c) to support the dissemination of good practices on issues of gender equity and inclusion.

This is how the “Sello WIM” acknowledgement initiative was born.  Sello WIM is the designation that, as of this year, grants Mujeres WIM de Mexico recognition to  mining companies, suppliers and service companies in the sector, validating compliance with actions that seek gender equality, give voice to women in a work environment of equality and female inclusion with the intention of enhancing the participation of women in the Mexican extractive industry.

The company interested in this initiative will complete two phases. In the first phase, the company will complete a self-diagnosis. This self-diagnosis includes different questions based on nine areas. These areas are: recruitment and selection, promotion of increased participation of women, equity in remuneration, prevention of workplace harassment, equal opportunities, adequate infrastructure, promoting the increase of women in leadership positions, balance of family life and promoting integral health. After this self-diagnosis, some specific actions to be implemented will be suggested to the company.  From these recommendations, the company will choose those that it will implement and present an implementation project for these actions. Through this process, Mujeres WIM de Mexico will collect knowledge about the best practices of different companies and will also contribute to the continuous improvement of equity policies and practices in the mining industry companies. 

“Sello WIM” does not consist of a certification or validation of compliance with existing standards. Therefore, there is no manual or guide of specific rules to comply with. What this initiative seeks is to help companies understand their current situation regarding the issue of gender equity, and the commitment and actions they have taken to promote equity and inclusion in their activities at all job levels. This will allow companies to become aware and identify areas of opportunity to improve in the previously mentioned nine areas, considering the geographical and cultural situation where the company develops its operations. Additionally, the participating companies will be supported in generating and implementing specific actions that allow improvement in the identified areas of opportunity. The final objective is to encourage companies to develop concrete actions that allow the entry, permanence and development of women working in the sector, mining companies and companies providing products and services. 

This initiative has generated great interest within companies in the sector, a sign of the commitment of mining members to promote the participation of women. Today, we have more than 70,000 women working in the mining sector. However, women are still underrepresented in PF 

and leadership positions. We are sure that, with initiatives like these, Mujeres WIM de Mexico will contribute to reducing the gap in opportunities and ensure firm steps are taken toward a more inclusive mining.

Photo by:   Ana Laura Muñoz

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