International Women in Mining (IWiM) is a global organisation committed to advancing women in the mining sector by acting as Industry Change Agent, WIM Champion and Diversity Trend Setter. IWiM is the fastest growing network for women in the mining industry, with long-lasting and supportive relationships with 40+ WIM organisations globally, as well as its own 10,500+ members and followers across 100 countries.
IWiM is a not-for-profit organisation, registered as a community interest company (C.I.C.) in the UK and operating with the support of sponsors and partners. IWiM also relies on a team of volunteers and supporters without whom it could not achieve any of its objectives; like IWiM’s Directors, they are based all over the world and bring different perspectives to the organisation.
It is vital that women’s individual and collective voice be heard for the industry to improve in diversity, governance and sustainability.
To that end, IWiM acts on three pillars:
as Industry Change Agent, to make mining a better industry through diversity, gender parity and inclusion;
as WIM Champion, to strengthen and coordinate Women in Mining (WIM) organisations to achieve global cohesion; and
as Diversity Trend Setter, to collect and dispense knowledge supporting the enhancement of women’s role and participation
International Women in Mining (IWiM) was founded in 2007 by Barbara Dischinger. Initially called WIM Community Portal, the organisation focused on (i) providing a communication platform for Women in Mining (WIM) organisation and (ii) serving women in the mining sector globally, particularly where there were no WIM organisations. In parallel, Barbara Dischinger founded Women in Mining (UK) in 2006 and managed it until 2011 when a new management team transitioned in: the two organisations have always been distinct.
There were fewer WIM organisations then, and the conversation about diversity and inclusion was still limited. Since its inception, IWiM has worked to promote a strong, unified WIM voice and increase support to and among WIM organisations world-wide. It has also participated in defining and progressing the diversity agenda and gender parity in the mining sector, coordinating pioneering projects and initiatives with global businesses and investors in the sector as well as international organisations pursuing similar transformation in extractives and/or industry in general.
These have included research projects, webinar programmes and various campaigns to increase awareness and promote the role and participation of women in all aspects of the mining sector, from thought leadership to directorships, across operations and investment. With a stronger corporate structure, new board and ongoing sponsor support, from 2017 IWiM developed landmark programmes including IWRMP, a global cross-company mentoring programme for women in mining.
In 2017 the company adopted its current name and converted into a community interest company (C.I.C.): this corporate form entails that it is operated with primarily social objectives and that any surpluses are reinvested in these objectives or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for owners.