The diamond-mining is an industry which has always been male-dominated. Though there have been some positive steps helping women get into the industry, the mining industry still has a long way to go when it comes to diversity. It is still largely a man’s domain.
However in the past years, there have been numerous advances in mining technologies, changes in laws, corporate structures and attitudes that have allowed women to consider a career here. The industry has opened up a number of jobs suitable for women.
Inclusion of women
Until 1990s, women weren’t permitted to work underground in South Africa. The mining industry just had 2% female workers. However, later in 2002, the South African Mining Charter urged firms to hire at least 10% women workforce.
Several mining firms are focussing on increasing the talent pool of women, fulfilling diverse roles in the industry. They not only encourage women participation in making decisions and being on leadership and managerial positions but also working on field like other employees.
Mining sites tend to be in remote locations and are mostly male dominated. Most of the mines are not developed in a way that they could include women, which means it gets difficult for women to get access to proper changing rooms or washrooms. Because of these shortcomings women are more attracted to positions in the off-site head office and other administrative roles rather than working underground.
Many people don’t find women capable of doing jobs that require physical strength while some believe there is no job a women can’t do; they favour gender diversity even in the mining industry.
Things are changing in the industry, diminishing the misconceptions related to womanhood and what a woman is capable of. Today’s diamond-mining industry looks up to women and encourages them to be important part of the industry.
Women could be the diamond-mining industry’s next diamond in the rough!