We are reporting on what has happened in the women in mining world this autumn via a new blog post format: the information is organised by tabs. Each tab represents a continent/region.
Click on the tabs to read the news relevant to you
A new WIM group has been established in Cameroon. WIM Cameroon will also be integrating with WIMOWA (WIM West Africa). Barbara will add their contact details to our directory as soon as she has more information.
Ghana – Inauguaral ECOWAS Mining & Petroleum Forum and Exhibition
(reporting from Wendy Treasure and Georgette Barnes, head of WIM Ghana)
The inaugural ECOWAS Mining & Petroleum Forum and Exhibition, was held in Accra, Ghana, from October 6-8. Most of the discussions were around the Africa vision 2063: The Role of Local Content, and Adding Value to our Extractives Sector products. Another relevant focus was how to finance Africa’s development by capturing outflows in the context of existing mining contracts.
WIM Ghana, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire members jointly staffed both a booth on behalf of WIM West Africa and took panel discussion spots. This was an extremely busy booth as a lot of conference visitors were very interested in the concept of WIM and some had never heard of this before. The WIM Ghana photo exhibition was a great attraction, with visitors wanting to know more about the activities of the women in the pictures.
Standing: Rosie Oppong Kwasie (Ghana), Saviour Alomatu (Ghana), Georgette B. Sakyi-Addo (Ghana)
Seated : Mercy (Nigeria), Mme Maimouna (Mali), Madam Djeneba (Mali)
Day 2 of the Forum saw the panel discussion “AFRICAN WOMEN GROUPS IN THE SECTOR – Their Relevance, Challenges & Successes”, with presentations by WIM Ghana and others. During the discussions, it was evident that the main challenges were the same for the African WIM groups, namely the financing of WIM Programs and dealing with regional political issues. Examples of this were brought home by the fact that initial planning had been done with Aida Tamboura (Burkina Faso) and Lika Scott (Senegal) but due to lack of funding, Lika and her team were unable to make it and Aida’s attendance was prevented due to the coup in Burkina Faso.
The general sense was that the ECOWAS forum was a great platform for Women in Mining groups in that it gave WIM exposure and immediate access to decision makers in Africa. The call from WIM groups was for each country’s mining vision to include gender mainstream in their mining policies.
- Following directly on from the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum, the Australian High Commission in Ghana hosted a breakfast event for women in the mining sector from Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Ghana and Senegal. The Australian High Commissioner, Ms Joanna Adamson, invited West African visitors in order to strengthen international networks of women involved in the mining sector and raise awareness of the crucial role of women in the sector, as well as the issues and barriers hampering their efforts to achieve greater inclusiveness in the industry.
(L-R) Ruth Menz, Maimouna Nioumenta, Rector Smile Dzisi, Dieyenaba Samake, Christine Logbo-Kossi, Gifty Biyira, Yvonne Anku, Zabeta Moutafis, Raymond Kudzawu, Hon. Barbara Serwaa Asamoah, Mamle Asare, Georgette Barnes, George Nkonsah, Saviour Alomatu, Charlotte Tay, Veronica Adigbo, Amina Tahiru.
The Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Natasha Stott Despoja, in a statement, noted that globally, leaders had made commitments to gender equality through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN and added that the economic case for women’s participation was undeniable. She said women’s absence from the mining sector meant a reduced productivity and competitiveness, which lowered profits.
The topic was ‘Women in mining: opportunities and challenges” with a request to Wendy Treasure of WIM Ghana, WIMWA and IWIL for an Australian perspective on one of the following topics:
- Breaking down the clichés: Practical steps to gender balance in the industry
- Bridging the gaps between academia, industry and policy
- The role of women in the future of mining Africa
Wendy provided a 10 minute video clip on steps to bridge the gaps between academic, industry and policy – unfortunately, technical difficulties meant it was not received in time to broadcast. Nevertheless, and coincidentally, those points were similar to those raised at the table. Namely, more women are needed in the drafting and influencing of mining policy; industry, not government or academia is driving the increase of women in mining; and that research is the point of convergence. We need more collaboration between WIM in industry and academia and government. This means encouraging industry WIM to lecture in to university and participate in research partnerships. This will require a flexible framework, but thinking and behaving differently generate unexpected avenues and benefits.
The Women in Mining Coordinator, Ms Georgette Barnes, who moderated the discussion, said young women needed to be encouraged to pursue technical and engineering subjects at the higher level of education and added that employers should also provide opportunities for women.
“The majority of artisanal gold miners are women, and they should take the next step to take out concessions and become entrepreneurs themselves”, she said.
She said Ghana’s development of a mining vision provided a unique opportunity for women’s voices to be heard and incorporated into the policy and action document. She called on the Minerals Commission to establish a Women’s Desk to enhance information flow to women involved in the sector.
Representatives from Senegal (first left, Rokhaya Samba Ambassador for Australia Awards Senegal) and Mali (second and third left, Mrs Dieyenaba Samake, Women in Mining Mali and Maimouna Nioumenta), and Charlotte Tay (to the right) attended the Women in Mining Breakfast-Discussion.
Back facing: L-R Georgette Barnes, Ruth Menz
N.B. Special thanks and recognition is made to [now] former Australian High Commissioner, Joanna Adamson, who has been such a strong advocate and network facilitator for women in mining in West Africa. Much of the progress of WIM groups has been assisted by Ms Adamson’s support. We would also like to thank her colleagues Zabeta Moutafis and Shari Hammond for their help.
Kenya – UN Women Regional Sharefair on Gender Equality in the Extractives Industry, Nairobi
(report from Wendy Treasure and Georgette Barnes, head of WIM Ghana)
Georgette Barnes travelled to Nairobi to attend the UN Regional Share Fair on Gender Equality in the Extractive Industries: Building on Good Practices. Georgette’s attendance was the prize awarded for her submissions to the Minerals and Energy Alliance for Development’s photo competition on women in mining.
The Share Fair was a mix of lectures and group discussions on various aspects of women in extractives. There were presentations and personal experiences shared. Participants were from government, private sector, civil society and communities imparted & impacted by Extractive activities.
There was also an exhibition during the fair showcasing products by women such as clay products, gemstones, crafts and civil society stands and businesses.
Some of the issues raised were;
- Difficulty of accessing finance for women miners
- Lack of information
- Inadequate support on governmental level for women in the sector
- The need for gender friendly national policies
- Lack of institutional support for women in the extractives sector
- The need for sub – regional co-operation on the continent, especially in the area of information sharing
- Health risks; for example HIV exposure
- Security issues
- Revenue distribution.
Thanks to Georgette for providing a comprehensive report on her visit – and congratulations for such great photos that got her there! Below are some of the more thought-provoking statements.
There is an urgent need for policies in the Extractives sector across Africa to be gender mainstreamed. Women cannot be left on the sidelines and governments and policy makers realise this. All policies and plans should be all encompassing of every female along the value chain.
This was captured aptly in this quote: “The extractive industries have the potential to drive immense economic and social development. However, it is vital that we consider how everyone is affected: women and men, and whole mining communities. If extractive projects are not inclusive and sustainable — including employment practices that are gender-sensitive, and community investments that impact positively on gender equality and women’s empowerment — there are real risks to social stability, inclusive growth and development, and even security.” UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
… Also women need to dream big: “what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think women’s business development, women’s finance, women in mining?” Most people think Microfinance and small to medium enterprises – catering, uniforms and ASM. It’s time to change the thinking…to think bigger, women owning large business, beyond incomes for livelihood, – women thriving and succeeding in a competitive business environment.” Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, Christine Musisi
Australia Awards, which is part of the Australian Government’s development assistance program for Africa has requested applications for post-graduate Short Courses and Fellowships, for Africans working within the extractives, and they are particularly interested in attracting female candidates.
UNDP – “Stones for Development”
The UNDP is developing a program to empower men and women extracting low-value minerals (dimension stones, industrial minerals, low-grade metals and precious stones). One of the specific goals of the program is to build the capacity of local mining associations. Wendy and I spoke with the program directors about Int’l WIM and whether there could be some synergies. In addition, Wendy mentioned her particular interest in mining entrepreneurship and the initiatives of WIM Senegal (see below). As the program will have a strong gender focus, UNDP expressed their interest in continuing the conversation late October/early November when they have identified the program’s 6 target countries. Of note, 4 will be within Africa – one in each of east, west, central and southern Africa.
The main project of WIM Senegal is called Girls for Mining, a weekly program with 14 of the best high school students from the entire country. The program includes basic training and workshops on mining geology and engineering and includes site visits (mining sites, offshore sites, etc.). The main objective is to encourage young women to choose mining/energy courses at university. WIM Senegal is looking for sponsorship for both these young women and to extend the program to others in Africa.
WIM Senegal also runs training courses on leadership for its members, as well as an entrepreneurship competition wherein the two winners get support developing projects within the extractives industries.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
the “RENAFEM” program in DRC. The idea was to set up a Women in Mining project in DRC, via the World Bank-funded ProMine project. It seems that the money was channelled through the DRC Ministry of Mines, and that there have been serious delays in getting anything started.
As we wrap up 2015, it is a great time to reflect on what WiMM has accomplished over the past 12 months.
Last year was a year of growth for our association. We continued fruitfully by connecting with both old and new friends and by partnering with organizations in Mongolia and around the globe. Through WiMM’s collaborations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Canada as well as with Canada Mongolia Chamber of Commerce, we succeeded in nominating three Mongolian mid-level professional women to participate in the intergovernmental forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development organized by the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute. We reached out to four mining schools in Mongolia to organize the guest speakers series and to collaborate in joint research projects as well as the SwissAid Sustainable Artisanal Mining Project which connected women to artisanal miners.
The World Bank noted in its 2013 paper that there exists a scarcity of research and data on women’s participation in the mining sector of Mongolia. Understanding that better data and research on the roles of Mongolian women contributing to the mining sector should facilitate the government’s mining and gender policies, in March through to August 2015, WiMM carried out a survey on the role of women in the country’s extractive industry covering 8,400 people from the mining labour force. The preliminary research data show many exciting facts, interesting findings and conclusions. For example, the share of women in the mining industry’s workforce is more than 30 percent which is well above similar numbers in many other predominantly mining economies, and the share of women working at a top, decision-making level is 17 percent which is above the world average for that matter. In the coming months, WiMM is planning to hold a roundtable to introduce and discuss the findings of this research and to seek funding for the publication and distribution of these results.
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season, and prosperous 2016!
Ms. Tumenbayar Nyamaa
Chairwoman, WIM Mongolia
Women in Resources National Awards (WIRNA)
Recently 200 guests from across Australia gathered in Perth to celebrate diversity in the Australian resources sector at the second annual Women in Resources National Awards (WIRNA), hosted by The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME). Read more here and here
WIMnet South Australia
WIMnetSA has become an established committee during the last 12 months with our formalised strategic planning and tactical action management process now in place and working well. New committee members and sponsors have been brought on-board, with a strong student presence continuing. With new collaborations with a number of other organisations, including the launch of a joint Mentoring Program with Women in Resources SA, WIMnetSA is in a strong position to achieve more successes in 2016.
Due to the support of Platinum sponsor Iluka Resources, Gold sponsor BHP Billiton Olympic Dam and a number of smaller sponsors, WIMnetSA has been able to provide a number of successful networking and professional development opportunities for members over the last 12 months while continuing to build its capabilities as an organisation in the background. Those run by WIMnetSA in 2015 are outlined on the following page however the types of events held include:
Formal networking events with technical speakers on topics such financial resilience in a fluctuating employment market, leadership and management research findings and personal stories from successful professionals.
WIMnetSA’s monthly informal networking event series, designed to offer members a regular opportunity to catch up with other industry personnel and students without the formalities seen at technical sessions.
Professional development short courses that offer attendees formal training in specific areas of interest.
WIMnetSA-hosted tables at third-party events such as the WinRSA Awards Lunch. By offering subsidised tickets to such events, WIMnetSA has been able to offer members the opportunity to network with other mining professionals and those from other industries with the added bonus of communicating WIMnetSA’s existence to non-mining professionals.
The WIMnetSA committee has put in a lot of effort throughout the year to develop a relationship with a number of other organisations working in the diversity and/or mining space, including Women in Resources SA (WinRSA), the South Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy (SACOME), the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA), the Flinders University Gender Consortium, Austmine, Concept2Creation and STEM Sista, the University of South Australia’s Centre for Human Resource Management (CHRM), other South Australian based AusIMM branches (Adelaide, Roxby Downs and Whyalla), as well as the national WIMnet group. This has and will continue to enable both WIMnetSA and the other organisations to call on each other for support, ensuring a stronger and more collaborative approach to improving diversity within the industry.
In addition, we have a refreshed committee starting next year with five new members joining up to replace those who have stepped down. Our intent is to maintain the same level of activity in 2016 with a drive to expand our membership base.
WOMEN within the South Australian resources sector now have a psychologist-assisted, mentoring program designed by the sisterhood to find career growth partners.
The pilot initiative by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM)’s Women in Mining Network (WIMNet) and SA Chamber of Mines and Energy’s Women in Resources South Australia (WinRSA) has matched 22 participants to mentors for eight months. Read more here
Call for entries in Queensland resources awards for women
Entries are now open for the 2016 Resources Awards for Women conducted by Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) and the Queensland Resources Council.
The awards will be presented on International Women’s Day at a breakfast event, which last year attracted 1,000 people across four locations, Brisbane, Blackwater Moranbah, Mackay. The regional events enjoyed a live webcast so that they could see the presentations in real time. It’s hoped even more regional areas will join in the webcast next year.
Women working in all occupations, and male champions of change, along with companies who have introduced diversity programs are urged to enter the awards.
Bookings for the breakfast and award entry forms are available here
Partners sought for continuation of mentoring program
Following the successful completion of the QRC/WIMARQ mentoring program, in November, partnerships are being sought to continue the highly regarded program into the future.
The QRC/WIMARQ Mentoring Program is the first of its kind in Queensland and was created in response to identified demand for formal mentoring for women working in Queensland’s minerals and energy sectors, and as a way to improve retention of women in these sectors. The program provides an opportunity to improve gender diversity at all levels by providing valuable professional development for your high-achieving and up-and-coming women.
The QRC/WIMARQ Mentoring Program aims to support female employees by providing career guidance and direction, sharing of experiences, developing career goals and forging life-changing mentoring partnerships with high-level resources sector professionals.
The program has a structured framework that includes a comprehensive professional matching and training process for all participants.
A highly successful pilot program was funded by the Queensland Government for three semesters throughout 2014 and 2015.
Since its launch in February 2014 the QRC/WIMARQ Mentoring Program has produced some outstanding results with more than 60 participants successfully completing the program.
The program was heavily oversubscribed with many mentees coming from engineering, geology, environmental science and other male-dominated occupations throughout all of Queensland. Our survey showed that 96 percent of survey respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that they had a quality relationship with their mentor/mentee. There is already interest from resources companies, mentees and mentors in the program continuing in 2016 and beyond.
If you would like to know more contact Caroline Morrissey via email: email@example.com or phone 0417770893
It was another successful year for Women in Mining and Resources Victoria (WiRV). This year saw us become a sub-committee of the AusIMM’s Women in Mining Network (WIMNet) and we are looking forward to this relationship strengthening in the future.
WiRV organised four major events this year – two Professional Development seminars and our signature Christmas in July Luncheon and Oaks Day Champagne Breakfast events. Our Professional Development seminars were held in March and September and focussed on equipping our members with the confidence and skills to build their networks, be successful in workplace negotiations and carve out a meaningful career path.
The Christmas in July Luncheon saw approximately 100 men and women be treated to an awe inspiring lunch. Julie Shuttleworth and Candice Stanley presented and were of the highest calibre. WiRV was honoured that they were able and willing to share their valuable life and career experiences with us. Their messages were simple – be adventurous, take-risks and don’t worry that you might not always have all the answers. We are sure that all those who attended were inspired by these incredible women.
Held at Level 89 of the Eureka Tower and overlooking the Melbourne skyline and Yarra River, around 50 punters dressed in their race-day finery gathered to enjoy a champagne breakfast, networking and hear Annabelle Chauncy OAM speak. A question and answer session at the conclusion of her speech reflected the high level of interest and relevance of the topic to the audience. A number of attendees sought to gain further insights for gaining corporate support, learnings from becoming a CEO at a young age and understanding how to get things done in a technologically challenged environment.
WiRV also held bi-monthly casual networking events. This allows our members to meet their peers for a drink and some nibbles. These events have been well attended throughout the year with many meaningful conversations had.
As we look toward 2016, the WiRV committee (The Committee) is working hard to prepare a strategy that focusses on its members and how we can better serve their interests. The Committee will be defining a clear pathway forward tackling issues that face our members. Particular topics of discussion involve professional development, advocacy and regional engagement. The Committee is excited about the challenges ahead.
Communications Manager, WiRV
WIM Canada launched a new website and are now featuring a few webinars up their YouTube channel
Women in Mining Canada Trailblazer Award nominations are due January 15, 2016. Read nominations criteria here. This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate and put forward someone who you believe has made a real difference in the sector. Nominees must be Canadian but you can send nominations in form all over the world.
WIM South Central (Kamloops, BC)
WIM South Central is looking for people who would like to join them in some volunteering within the community. If interested contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a great turn out for our first annual Wacky Sweater Christmas Bowling party! Thanks to everyone who attended!
Read WIM National’s latest newsletter here; it gives a recap of what happened at each local branch.
WIM National’s Annual Meeting will take place April 14 thru 16, 2016 in Rolla, MO hosted by our Student Chapter at MS&T.
WIM Chile hosts monthly meetings and has now formed committees such as: Communications, Events, Marketing, HR and Projects, each one has 3 to 5 committee members; they’ve had a huge response from members wanting to contribute.
Guyana Women Miners is presenting rceommendations for mining areas to the Minister of Mines.
They are still training women in order to work in the mines they bought and they do not know if they are going to allow men to work there yet, they got a training program next January for two weeks
WIM Mexico is in the process of being registered as a non- profit organisation with the Mexican authorities.
The team is in the process of registering WIM Uruguay, are working on a website and have already got committees such as events and PR, they are introducing WIM to the government by attending events.