The inclusion of women workers in mining activity is an issue that is gaining momentum and demands for improvement. In this framework, from the only two metal mines in production in San Juan, Gualcamayo and Veladero, they said they are betting on more women currently working in the mines and training them to climb the ranks. And this work is already underway in this area. It should be remembered that last March, San Juan was recognized by WIM Argentina (Women in Mining Argentina) during the Argentina Day celebrations at PDAC 2023 in Toronto, Canada for being the province with the highest generation of new female employment registered in mining Was. In final year.
500 people currently work at the Gualcamayo mine, 36 of whom are women who work in various areas of the Minas Argentino company, most of them focused in finance and supply. But also performing a part in geomechanics, mine maintenance, operations, technical projects, legal and community relations, among others. Some of them are also leaders in their respective fields, such as foundry, procurement, legal and accounting and payment sectors. This is because the company is committed to training and promoting women.
“At the moment the female staff at Gualcamayo is not growing. What has happened recently is that more women are reaching leadership positions and taking over area heads, as in the foundry, in supply and even in the company. It has also happened in the higher management, where, for the first time, one of the 3 directors of the company is a woman. Undoubtedly, women will occupy more and more relevant positions in the industry in general and in Gualcamayo in particular, and for this they have Preparations are being made,’ said Marcelo Aguilles, community relations and communications superintendent in Minas Argentinos.
In this regard, Águilas commented that in recent years they have developed various actions and programs to highlight the role of women in mining work in general and in Argentine mines in particular. One of them was to partner with WIM (Women in Mining) and together with external consultants to develop a program called “Crescendo en Valores” that seeks to promote good practices of equality, equity, participation and gender inclusion. Firstly, a survey among all associates to ascertain their knowledge and experiences in this matter to plan the activities to be undertaken in the coming months, including the participation of all women working in the company for the first time .
Training and reflection workshops were also held with the rest of the company’s personnel, which “enabled Minas Argentinas to grow as a company and as a community, in partnership with a gender perspective.”
In addition, a discussion called “Inspiring Women” took place last week, which was attended by workers from companies in both Argentina and Colombia and Nicaragua, who shared their experiences of improvement and leadership.
San Juan added approximately 293 women to the mining industry between 2020 and 2022.
While in Veladero, Strong Bets continues to train women to enter the mining labor sector as well as their inclusion. Over the past 3 years, Valadero has been implementing policies that seek to improve the gender balance in the mine. This made it possible for direct workers to go from less than 5% women in 2019 to 12.5% in May 2023. There are currently 171 who work in various positions, of which 14 are in leadership, superintendence and management positions such as human resources, environment and project areas.
Because of this growth and balance, Barrick achieved a distinction last March as the mining company in production with the highest registered female employment in 2022 for South America. It was during the Mining Fair in Toronto, Canada. “For Valadero, the inclusion of women is a firm belief because of their talents and skills. For us, their inclusion means better results. That is why we are going to continue with policies that aim at training and inclusion The women working in the mine, as part of Barrick, and the path they are following in Veladero, is what characterizes this diverse job offer,” said Romina Tisti, Human Resources Manager at Veladero.
Tisty said that, within this framework, a new operator course is being developed, in which 60% of the participants are women. And that in the last two they were with 100% female participation.
Another important fact that the manager highlighted is that the same number of employees was maintained between the previous year and the current year. He noted that although payrolls declined slightly in Valadero, the number of women was maintained, without registering a cap. “It’s also very valuable because it breaks the myth that mining is too hard for women and they quit,” Tisti said.
Regarding women’s work coexistence with male employees, Tisty described it as “good”, though with a process of “permanent adaptation”. He said it is known that the mining industry owes a debt to being able to engage women, but this situation is slowly being overcome. “Our expectation is to continue to incorporate female labor into the mine. I am in charge of the personnel recruitment area and last year, 55% of the total number of incorporations were women,” Tisti concluded.
(tags to translate) Special Mining Month