At the Future Minerals Forum in January 2022, Prospector's founder, Emily King, sat on a panel to discuss this problem and the possible solutions to increase female participation in a sector that will drive the future forward.
This video features a discussion with other industry leaders as well:
Sheila Khama, former Chief Executive Officer, De Beers Botswana
Amanda Van Dyke, Managing Director Sustainable Resources Strategy, Arch Emerging Partners
Only 7-8% of the global mining's sector workforce comprises women, which is incredibly low. This panel discussed the opportunities for women, and what it might take to get women into the mining industry and retain them.
Emily started the panel off discussing the opportunities that new mining technology brings to the table. "The integration of technology into the operational side of mining can allow people to join the mining industry in a way that is, perhaps, more attractive from a job perspective".
Mining is not the image that most people first think of, that old prospector with his pickaxe. In reality, the mining industry is much more high-tech, which appeals to and opens up opportunities for women and young people. Emily also states that the mining industry is starting to integrate other industries and sectors into the mining business, which will only make the mining industry stronger.
Different Aspects of the Mining Value Chain
Sheila brings statistics to the forefront during her discussion, pointing out "If we sterilize 50% of the world's human resource, it's impossible that we can achieve the goals that we aspire for in mining". Wendy continues the conversation, bringing in the perspective of women in mining through the entirety of the value chain. She reminds us that mining is not strictly operational, but has aspects of connecting with people, banking, communities, and consumer products, and women can bring special qualities to each of these parts of the mining value chain.
Christine reminds the viewers that "we are looking for the best and brightest to join the mining industry because of the challenges we face in the future", and the different thinking and perceptions that talent will bring, regardless of gender. Mashael follows this up with a reminder that no matter what we need to be able to get the work done while being good stewards to the resource.
Amanda closes off the main portion of the conversation with a reminder that people can come to the mining industry from almost any profession, and "everyone has to start somewhere". Through leader support, mentorship, and sponsorship people are allowed to climb the ladder and the best talent can rise to the top.
To finish up the discussion, the panelists talk about what can be done within the mining industry to help attract and retain women. Emily points out the importance of organizations such as Women in Mining, which allows people to discuss and ask questions without judgement. The panelists also discuss the people that helped them along their career path, stressing the importance of education about the industry, and encouraging mentorship and sponsorship within the mining industry.
For more information and the full discussion, please check out the full video above!
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Aug 19, 2022
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