Women In Mining Manual: A Guide to Integrating Women into the Workforce

Published: December 2008

This document presents a guide to integrating women ino the workforce. In July 2007, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, entered into a three-year partnership with Lonmin, the world's third largest primary platinum producer, based in South Africa. The goal of the partnership is to promote the sustainable development of Lonmin's workforce and the communities that surround its mining operations. Considering that Lonmin has a legislative requirement, set by the South African Department of Mining, to integrate women into its workforce so that they make up 10 percent by 2010, a key focus of the partnership is to develop a Women in Mining (WIM) program. The Lonmin IFC Women in Mining Program seeks to promote the employment and retention of women in Lonmin's workforce. The target audiences for this manual are practitioners in the mining sector, development organizations and governments that are planning to integrate women into the mining workforce. This manual is written with an emphasis on women in mining, but can be applied to other extractive sectors and other heavy industries.

Key Findings

  • This manual provides a conceptual framework and a step-by-step guide to integrating women into the mining sector, as well as into other extractive and heavy industries. Successful integration of women ensures greater benefits for local communities and creates a more just and equitable society. The integration of women into these historically male-dominated industries is not easy, but when it is done well, it can have a transformative effect.
  • The process of incorporating women into the workforce is not an easy one. At the same time, it can also be a very rewarding one. The greatest challenge in making such a program a reality is to successfully work across many company departments.
  • Perhaps no other initiative needs as much creative thinking and cross-disciplinary work.
  • The key element in successful implementation is to undertake a detailed analysis of how women are impacted at each step of the company operations, under each department.
  • Once the factors affecting women are determined, concrete steps can be taken to address them, using a toolbox of policies, processes and systems.

Populations Women

Publishers International Finance Corporation (IFC), Lonmin

Geographic Focus Africa (Southern) / South Africa