Profile of women in mining

Half of the women working in mining consider that their work is incompatible with having children

 

For the second consecutive year, Vantaz and the trade association Women in Mining (WIM) Chile drew up a report on the Profile of Women in Mining in order to understand their reality within the industry and how to promote their participation.

As well as analysing the profile of women presently working in the industry, the report includes a special section with information about women who once worked in the sector and have now dropped out. According to the study, 28% left the industry due to the work environment or the lack of balance between their work and personal lives.

“In this report we wanted to find out about the vision they have of the industry and what measures they consider necessary to increase the participation of women in mining”, said Juan Cariamo, Partner at Vantaz.

Claudia Monreal, President of WIM Chile, added: “If we want to retain the talent of women, we need to have concrete information about their concerns and needs.” For this reason, the profile also includes information about the type of women studying degree courses related to the mining sector.

Below are the main conclusions of the study:

TRANSLATION:

5.5 According to your perception, do you think that industry conditions allow for compatibility between work and having and bring up children?

Yes

No

Did not answer

 

 

“Even though some conditions have improved to give better compatibility between work and family life, this factor continues to prevent women from staying in the industry. This is for two reasons: firstly, existing family networks are not always so well structured, and secondly, working in the industry doesn’t make it very easy to establish these networks”, said Cariamo.

 

Cariamo went on to say that public policies such as universal childcare could make a great contribution. Flexible working hours could also help to achieve better balance between work and bringing up children.

The study showed that more than half of women surveyed (52%) believe that there is still room for improvement in the professional development for women in the industry. In fact, 57% of those questioned are in favour of strategic plans for equal opportunities and organisational initiatives to include minimum participation quotas.

TRANSLATION 5.4 In your experience, what actions should the mining world take to eradicate the negative image of women?

Did not answer

Develop a strategic plan for equal opportunities in the long term, with minimum quotas.

Develop organisational initiatives with minimum quotas for the participation of women

Develop actions focused on gender, where equal rights and conditions are made known.

 

Regarding the impact of mining on their personal lives, 38% believe that working in the sector is positive in all aspects, while 52% say that the greatest disadvantages are distance from the family, given shift work, and long working days

According to the report, 60% of the women surveyed work in a mining company and 53% have at least 8 years’ experience in the sector. Of these, 9% have been in the industry for more than two decades.

 

 

TRANSLATION:

Did not answer

More than 21 years

Between 13 and 20 years

Between 8 and 12 years

Between 5 and 7 years

Between 2 and 4 years

Between 1 and 2 years

Less than a year

 

With respect to the positions held by women, the report showed that only 11% are in managerial positions and just 3% are on a board of directors. Similarly, 60% of those surveyed say that they have not been promoted within their company.

 

 

TRANSLATION:

3.5 Position presently held

Did not answer

Director

Manager

Head of area/Coordinator/Supervisor

Administrative role

Professional support role

Consultant

Operational role

 

Of the women surveyed, 35% manage an annual budget. Nearly half of these (48%) manage funds between US$10,000 and US$1 million.

TRANSLATION:

3.14 What is your average annual budget?

Up to US$ 10,000

Between US$ 10,001 and US$ 50,000

Between US$ 50,001 and US$ 200,000

Between US$ 200,001 and US$ 1 million

More than US$ 1 million.

 

Although 40% say that they have staff reporting to them, the great majority (88%) are responsible for less than 25 employees.  A little more than 5% have more than 50 employees under their supervision.

TRANSLATION:

3.12 Number of employees under their supervision

More than 80

51 to 80

26 to 50

11 to 25

1 to 10

 

“It is true that more women are coming into the mining industry, but the majority of these get stuck at the same level, when should not be the case given their knowledge and experience. The loss of talent is related to a lack of opportunity for professional development”, explained Monreal.

 
PRINCIPAL RESULTS FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE WORKED IN MINING

 

Socio-economic profile:

  • 71% are between 30 and 49 years old.
  • 80% have left the mining industry over the last four years.
  • 55% have university degrees and 31% have a post-graduate degree.
  • 38% are single and 28% are married.
  • 45% already had children when they started working in mining. Within this group, the majority (64%) has one child.
  • 89% shared the care of their children with someone else.

Of those women who no longer work in mining, 53% worked in the industry between two and 12 years, while almost 17% were in mining for less than two years.

TRANSLATION

  • For how long did you work in mining?

Did not answer

More than 21 years

Between 13 and 20 years

Between 8 and 12 years

Between 5 and 7 years

Between 2 and 4 years

Between 1 and 2 years

Less than a year

 

For nearly half of the women surveyed (47%), their last position in the industry was in a mining company. For 35.2% of those taking part in the survey, they worked as head of an area, coordinator or supervisor, while 20% were professional support staff. 

 

 

TRANSLATION

1.14 What was the position that you held in your last company?

Operational position

Consultant

Professional support staff

Administrative role

Manager

Director

Member of the Committee

Did not answer

 

Although more than half (55%) had staff reporting to them, the majority (68%) had between one and 10 employees under their supervision.

When asked about the reason for leaving the mining industry, one in four answered that they had been dismissed. A further 28% responded that the personal and work life balance or the working environment was the main reason for change.

TRANSLATON

1.23 Which of the following reasons best describe your reason for leaving the mining industry?

I was dismissed

The job did not live up to my expectations

Relationship with superiors/work environment

Studies

Salary

Personal life and work balance

Health

Geographic location/distance

Family reasons

Career development

 

Regarding the measures that the industry should take to promote the participation of women, 56% believe that it should develop strategic plans for equal opportunities and organisational initiatives that include minimum quotas for women.

Furthermore, 55% of women no longer working in mining consider that the industry does not offer conditions for balancing work with having children.

 
PRINCIPAL RESULTS FOR WOMEN WHO STUDY SOMETHING RELATED TO MINING

Socio-economic profile:

  • 55% are between 24 and 30 years old
  • 32% come from the central area of Chile
  • 76% are single
  • 45% study engineering
  • 36% chose their university course based on their vocational interests
  • 57% would like to work in a mining company
  • 41% are interested in working at mine or plant operations