The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) in partnership with the Department of Mineral Resources held a women in mining networking session just in time as the nationally celebrated month came to an end. Under the theme “Growing the economy of the province through empowering women”.
Women who took the decision to challenge societal norms and join the mining industry came together to discuss and honour one another for the great work they are doing in the province and the country as a whole. In addition, the aim was to set the tone for themselves, on dealing with critical issues relating to women in the mining and business sector.
During discussions, many women voiced their grievances of not being treated equally to their male counterparts and being used as fronts for both black and white males in business.
DEDAT’s communication officer, Thandiwe Mobizela remarked that the networking session was made possible to allow woman to engage and set their own tone without any intimidation.
“The networking session came about as a platform to allow women to engage and set the tone for mining and businesses from the female perspective”.
The key note speaker of the event was the National President of South African Women In Mining Association (SAWIMA), Ms Nomakhwezi Mzambo who believes in enhancing and growing the female footprint in the mining industry in South Africa.
SAWIMA provides a free platform for supporting and guiding the personal growth, leadership and career development of women in the country’s mining industry. The non-profit organization with over 2 500 members was established in 2010 with support from sponsorships and time given by volunteers.
As per a report by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), women make up 51,3% of the population but in the mining sector out of approximately 464 667 jobs only 12%, or 53 179 are occupied by women. Only 16 South African women in mining made it onto the list of 100 global inspirational women in mining which clearly indicates the obvious fact that women are still under represented in the mining industry.
The 16 South African women were Lindiwe Nakedi, Director: Gubhani Exploration, Patron Liaison: WIMSA, Thabile Makgala, Impala Platinum Holdings mining executive and chairperson-elect of WiMSA, Dr Thuthula Balfour, head of health at Minerals Council South Africa, Makhosazana Sibisi, CEO of WaterBearer Sustainable Development, Deshnee Naidoo, CEO of Vedanta Zinc International, Farana Boodhram, CEO of Avita Mining, Gargi Mishra, senior principal industry innovation of Accenture, Megan Becker, associate professor of the Centre for Minerals Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town, Tzvet Ilarionova, VP and group finance head of Gold Fields, Nolundi Luthuli, graduate trainee corporate social responsibility for Arcelor Mittal South Africa, Tebogo Mosito Mashego, CEO of Ditsogo Projects, Wilhemina Ncgobo, operations manager of Assmang, Stella Skosana, executive secretary of Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine, Nompumelelo Zikalala, deputy CEO of De Beers Consolidated Mines, Dineo Phaladi, mine overseer for Kumba Iron Ore, and Maria Sanz Perez, executive VP AngloGold Ashanti.