"Give women in mining a better deal"

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
The panelists
The panelists

Some women executives and experts in the mining sector have called on governments with mining interests to give equal opportunity to women entrepreneurs in the industry as the sector is tilted in favour of men.

Speaking to international media visitors attending and covering the Australia-Africa week at a round table interaction, some women mining executives and players said women had little leadership roles in the mining sector.

This year’s Australia Africa Week is being held from August 25-September 2, 2018 in Perth Australia.

THE IMV Programme

The International Media Visit (IMV) programme gives selected journalists a unique opportunity to experience Australia and meet with industry and political leaders.

This year’s edition of the Australia-Africa Week programme would focus on Australian and African mining engagement and present opportunities for participants to explore Australian-African collaborations.

Seven selected journalists from Ghana, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa are participating in the event.

Ms Bronwyn Barnes, Managing Director of Scorpion Minerals said lack of women in the board rooms of mining establishments had significant socio-economic impact on mining communities and economies.

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Bronwyn Barnes, Managing Director, Scorpion Minerals

She said it was not economically functional that women who formed 50 percent of the world’s population were left out of something as essential for growth and development as mining.

She called on women to learn to play the game of mining at higher levels rather than at the menial work level.

“There is a business, governance and equity case there that has to be made to help change things,” Ms Barnes said.

She said it was sad that after several years many, women in the mining sector remain at the peripherals engaged usually as cooks, cleaners and maids with few in middle and top management positions

A Mining Lawyer and lecturer, Ms Wendy Treasure said there was no doubt that mining was tilted against women.

She indicated that women mining entrepreneurs were particularly left out of mining because of the huge capital needed to venture into the industry.

This, she said, called for innovative ways of seeking for capital and also urged countries with mining industry to adjust their laws to consciously give opportunities to women.

Ms Kelly Carter, Vice President, Legal and Compliance, Australasia Region, Goldfields for her part said there was enough reason why women should boldly venture into the sector to change their lives and families and called for a reorientation to change the current situation.

Ms Tamryn Barker, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CORE Hub, a business incubator and development Centre, was of the view that it was important for women to support each other to make it to the top through fruitful collaborations.

Ms Holly Bridgewater, Industry Lead for Unearthed, a Crowdsourcing said it was time to break through the mining sector as women and support other women up the ladder.

Dr Kate O'Shuaghnessy, Business Relations Manager, Western Australia State office of the Department of Foriegn Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said it was commendable that women seek to push the barriers for total development.

The panellists concluded that there was the need for strong mentorship in the industry to support young women to venture into the mining sector.

IMV participants were earlier taken around the CORE hub centre, an incubator for start-ups and business development and promotion.