Women in Mining: Why Inclusivity and Equality Are Important

woman miner

For centuries, women have been fighting for equality. And although things have definitely improved since then, there is still a lot of work to be done.

For example, women are still outnumbered in industries that have long been dominated by men. And we are still fighting stereotypes about what is deemed an “appropriate” industry for women to work in. This, unfortunately, still rings true when it comes to women in the mining sector.

What Is the Current Situation for Women in Mining?

Unfortunately, it’s still a little bit difficult to put a number on how many women are working in the mining sector. The UK, Canada, and the US all have slightly different statistics.

But, the overall number is pretty small. According to the Women in the World Foundation, only 10 percent of miners are women, and this number is expected to remain stagnant for the next few years.

A few other data points:

  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only around 11,000 women employed in mining and gas extraction in the US.
  • According to the US Department of Labor, only around 3,000 women are employed in mining and quarrying in the US.
  • The Canadian gender gap in mining is even more pronounced. According to the World Bank, less than one percent of the world’s miners are women.

Why the Gender Gap in Mining?

The mining industry is still very much male-dominated, and women are often missing from positions of power and authority in this sector.

But, it’s also because the industry has traditionally been considered a high-risk and dangerous sector for women to work in, and there are still a lot of misconceptions about the dangers for women to work in mining.

Many industries have done a good job of removing this stigma, but it’s still very much real in the mining industry.

Why It Is Important for More Women to Join the Mining Sector

There are a lot of reasons why it is important for the mining sector to be more inclusive.

For starters, it’s important for women to have the same opportunities that men have. There is no reason why a woman cannot have a career just as rewarding as her male counterparts.

Women are also needed in the mining sector to help balance out the gender disparity.

Because women and men often have different perspectives on issues, adding more diversity to the sector will help to improve the working environment of everyone else.

And finally, having more women in the mining industry will help to reduce the gender pay gap. If there are more women in the industry, then women will no longer be considered to be a “minority” by employers. When employers have to start paying and promoting women based on their ability rather than their gender, it will open the door for more women to have a successful and rewarding career in the mining industry.

Final Thoughts

Oftentimes, the mining industry is thought of as a “man’s world.” But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Women have a lot to contribute to the mining industry, and they are often undervalued and overworked. It’s time to put the time, energy, and money towards equality, especially in the mining sector.

Empower women in mining and bridge the gender gap with the help of Janet Sheriff. An innovative entrepreneur, Janet brings her extensive experience in all aspects of strategic planning, management, indigenous affairs, and communications to start-ups, new ventures, and the mining and exploration sectors. Janet focuses her entrepreneurial spirit, leadership skills, and vision on creating new opportunities, award-winning innovative programs, and new ways of conducting business. Get in touch with us today!


About the Author

Janet Sheriff

An innovative entrepreneur, Janet brings her extensive experience in all aspects of strategic planning, management, indigenous affairs and communications to start ups, new ventures and the mining & exploration sectors. Janet focuses her entrepreneurial spirit, leadership skills and vision to create new opportunities, award-winning innovative programs and new ways of conducting business. Her strong commitment to community engagement, sustainability and inclusion provides her the proven ability to work effectively and respectfully in cross-cultural environments.