Women in Mining Confusion

Published: 14/08/2014

Women in Mining. What does it mean? Who is it?

Knowing the answer was easier a number of years back when there were only a handful of WIM groups around the world. With over 50 chapters in 30 countries (or more) people are getting confused and rightly so.

Logic would dictate that there would be one overarching international entity with branches in each country, town or region, one message, one mission statement, one list of objectives. However that does not reflect reality. Existing WIM groups on all continents are all independent & run separately.

The first group started in Denver, Colorado in 1972 and is still going strong. Followed by other branches in the United States and by WIM Toronto. Pass a number of years forward and you get WIM Vancouver, WIMWA (Western Australia) and WIMARQ (Queensland) followed by WIM UK, branches all over Canada and Australia, WIMSA (South Africa) etc. (This isn’t the most precise chronology)

All of them sprung up organically, a solution to a need. They are each managed and financed differently, have a different member composition, different objectives, driven by local realities.
Many are composed of professional women working for the mining industry (list of groups mentioned above) whereas others cater for artisanal and small-scale female miners and women affected by mining.

What brings us all together though is a common vision towards a more diverse and inclusive mining industry at all levels.

No wonder many are getting muddled up.

The International Women in Mining Community was set up in 2007 precisely to do something about it and to help coordinate efforts towards more collaboration between groups and to be a bridge between existing WIM groups, their members and non-members. We also want to be a bridge between female mining professionals and women affected by mining.

What do we do in that regard?

Normally you have to go to each individual WIM group website or LinkedIn group, Facebook page etc to find the relevant information and updates. We offer one central portal on which information from each WIM group is accessible to all with one click.

We started a discussion forum on LinkedIn that is international in nature and allows WIM members from many groups worldwide as well as non-WIM members to network and communicate. It is one of the most dynamic WIM groups on LinkedIn and has the biggest membership with nearly 7700 members.

International Women in Mining Community connects groups to groups, non-members to groups, members to members and members to non-members.We are a voice for women in countries where there is no WIM group or who live/work far away from existing WIM chapters in any given country

On our events calendar we share events organised by women in mining groups worldwide and also bring you women related events that might be of interest.

In our monthly newsletter we report on activities of the different WIM groups around the world as well as mention who was interviewed in the press that month, who moved jobs etc. We also share each group’s newsletter on our dedicated page

We offer the only existing global directory of Women in Mining groups

We develop projects that are international in nature, transcend all groups and promote women in mining. The WIM Stock Image Campaign is our most recent initiative. To view the photos submitted thus far go to.

Lastly, we provide help & advice to women in mining groups during their setting up phase and afterwards.

We are looking for partners and are happy to hear from you, contact us at barbara@womeninmining.net