By David Brough
VICENZA, Italy – A panel of senior women executives at the Vicenzaoro trade event in January, chaired by WJI 2030, called for accelerated moves to achieve sustainability and gender empowerment across the global mining industry.
The panel of three executives, moderated by WJI 2030 Executive Director Iris Van Der Veken, and introduced by Italian goldsmithing leader Ivana Ciabatti (Chair, Italpreziosi, a member of WJI 2030), said that progress had been achieved to date, but much more needed to be done to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to create a fairer workplace and a better working environment and more sustainable supply chain in mining.
“It is important not only to attract women to mining and retain them, but also to ensure a safe space for them to work and grow,” Iris said while chairing the panel entitled “Women Driving Sustainability in Mining”.
Supporting the implementation of sustainability and gender empowerment targets by mining companies, Iris added, “We need reliable data. Then we need concrete actions. It needs to be an acceleration.”
Among the panellists, Nancy Lipson, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Newmont Corporation, one of the world’s leading gold miners, said that in her 17 years with the company, board representation of women had grown to 42 percent from zero.
“We also have a long way to go,” she added, in a reference to steps that needed to be taken to achieve a more equitable representation of women across the workforce in mining.
Charlene Wringley, Director Sustainability of Gold Field Corp, another gold miner, with a strong operational presence in Africa, said her company had set a target of 30 percent women in the workforce by 2030, up from 21 percent now.
“Women are integral to our company’s success,” she said.
Gwennael Guillen, VP Sustainability of Endeavour Mining Corporation, said her company planned to set more aggressive targets to achieve greater sustainability and gender empowerment, underlining the importance of measuring impact, and supporting a greater participation by young women in education in the sector, such as in mining engineering.
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