Image credits: Omid Roshan
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News Article

Share of Women Working in the Mining Sector Increases

By Karin Dilge | Fri, 09/23/2022 - 15:50

Recent data from the Mexican mining chamber (CAMIMEX) indicates that the mining sector has increased its number of jobs by 11 percent since the end of 2021. What is more, the participation of women in the mining industry also saw a 17 percent increase, as 66,000 women are now employed in the sector.

Pablo Méndez, President, the Chihuahua Mining Cluster, said that the growth in job creation is mainly owed to the incorporation of previously-subcontracted workers that are now directly hired by mining companies. Moreover, he said that the average income in the industry is MX$18,000 (US$890) a month, 40 percent higher than the national average.

According to CAMIMEX’s 2021 Sustainability report, around 368,000 people are registered as working directly in a mining company, of which almost 58,000 women were officially registered. Now the number of women increased by 8,000.

Experts acknowledged that the degree of women working 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 the technological advances that the mining industry has triggered, the sector has improved its methods and processes,” Bejarano said.

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 base metal industry and 12 percent in the metal mining industry.

“Twenty years after my start in mining, some progress has been seen in the participation of women in the sector; however, we still find a great lag in the positioning of women in the industry, which, although we can say that it has improved, we can also say that it has not been to a great extent,” wrote Eurídice González, Founder, WIM de Mexico for MBN.

Bejarano, who has over 10 years of experience in the sector, emphasized 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 working in other roles, too. Bejarano highlighted the importance of promoting inclusion and eliminating gender stereotypes, which can engender tangible financial benefits for companies.

“It is encouraging to see that progress has been made in increasing the participation of women in mining but it is also important to recognize that much remains to be done to achieve equity and a more even playing field with initiatives and practices that bridge the gap,” wrote González. 

Photo by:   Omid Roshan
Karin Dilge Karin Dilge Journalist and Industry Analyst