The CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemana Koney, has underscored the need for women participation in mining to be broad-based, insisting that much more has to be done to ensure increased representation of women in the industry.
Speaking at the virtual West African Mining and Power Expo event on the topic “Global Developments on Women in Mining”, he said: “If you look at the statistics, Africa seems to be doing quite well [with women’s participation in mining], but there is room for us to do better. We’re doing a lot of advocacy, and some companies are taking elements of this quite seriously.”
He added: “It is for me now to persuade my colleagues at the executive committee [level] so these initiatives will be more broad-based within the industry. There is hope for improvement, and we commit to do much better going forward; but it has to be done through structures.”
Women’s participation in the mining sector remains low, speakers at the event said, noting that although the sector held opportunities for women, many usually fail to take advantage of job offerings and opportunities that come their way.
According to the Group Training and Development Coordinator at Golden Star Wassa Limited, Ms. Gifty Bilson, the authorities within the mining industry should consider introducing a mining scholarship for females.
The President of Women in Mining (WIM) Ghana and Women in Mining (WIM) Africa, Mrs. Georgette Barnes Sakyi-Addo, said: “We are on the right path, but we need to push more. WIM groups are important; we have made inputs into several mining policies, and we can still do more.”
The Head of Legal at AngloGold Ashanti, Juliet Manteaw-Kutin, who moderated the session, encouraged women to take up mining because “it is a good idea, a rewarding place and gives you a sense of achievement.”
Ms. Eunice Dzokpo, Unit Manager, Mine Survey, at Asanko Gold Ltd., stated that companies should develop policies targeted at girls at the tertiary level and senior high schools, with a plan to educate them in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) in a bid to attract them in the long term into the mining industry.
The Head, Mining and Metals, Stanbic West Africa, Ms. Juliet Sheiddy Akamboe, said women in mining should strive to “make a difference wherever we find ourselves and make that commitment to add one extra woman to the various conversations at our various stakeholder engagements, so we can make the progress that we desire. It is not good enough to talk about it and move away; that inner commitment is what is needed to build trust between all stakeholders.”