IWiMSpeakUp worked with conference organizers to connect with female coal specialists Sandra Seabela and Bobbie Foot to speak on women in mining at the 14th session of the Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane at the United Nations, 7-8 November 2019 in Geneva.
An article entitled, Women in the coal sector: from barriers to entry to challenges in the aftermath of mine closure quotes the two speakers:
- Ms. Sandra Seabela, Mining Engineer from Assmang’s Khumani Mine observed that “there are a number of challenges hindering progression of women in the South African mining industry.” She noted that “there have been improvements in transforming the industry to better accommodate and enhance careers of women in mining” and explained that “these improvements come as a result of a collaborative effort from different stakeholders aiming to achieve an inclusive mining industry which treats people of different genders and backgrounds in the same way.” Importantly, as highlighted by Ms. Seabela, “mining companies that have embraced this transformation are seeing improved financial performance and better work culture.”
- …Ms. Bobbie Foot, Head of HSE for BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Coal Division observed that “when organisations don’t have the appropriate plans in place, women and young girls can often experience higher levels of social or personal safety issues as well as education and health disadvantages.” She called for “applying innovative thinking to build social value into the future when planning for mine closure and transitions in a way that empowers and benefits everyone in the community.’ Ms. Foot argued that applying a Social Value, rather than Social License, approach to the closure of mines and other workforce transitions can help prevent many of the negative impacts of the process.
The program on this event is at this link.