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creating a gender-inclusive mining industry: uncovering

creating a gender-inclusive mining industry: uncovering

The global mining industry is male dominated. In the US, women constitute 13% of the mining workforce and 16% of mining related college programs. Similar trends exist globally. Efforts are being made by educational institutions, mining companies and professional organizations to attract women to the industry to achieve a gender inclusive industry. Such efforts have yielded minimal dividends partly due to insufficient reliable data on challenges confronting female miners. To provide empirical data to guide such efforts, we undertook a survey to understand the reasons for low female participation in the industry with participants from Ghana, USA, Ireland, Canada and other countries. The survey sought to identify challenges faced by female mining stakeholders and availability of support facilities for handling these challenges. Open and closed ended questionnaires were administered through online platforms. The responses were analyzed quantitatively using summary statistics and qualitatively using thematic analysis. About 38% of the respondents expressed satisfaction with their current jobs. The high dissatisfaction rate stems from lower salaries compared to male counterparts (29%), gender-based discrimination (53%), sexual harassment (37%) and sexual demands during hiring (17%). The key hindrances to a gender inclusive mining sector have been grouped into seven themes including discrimination, harassment, gender ideologies, and lack of support. We propose a four-way mind map model requiring commitment from government, companies, chambers of mines, and employees to ensure a gender inclusive mining industry.

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