Women asked to embrace digital technology in mining
Mining has increasingly become sophisticated. The development has forced many countries and companies to heavily rely on advanced digital technology to be able to exploit natural resources.
This phenomenon also brings in its wake, huge opportunities which women can leverage to break the monopoly of men in that sector.
Against this background, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Berenice Owen-Jones, has urged women in mining to take advantage of digital technology to help make significant improvement in the industry.
By equipping themselves digitally in the sector, she said such a move would also help to eliminate all forms of disparity and inequality in the sector for socio-economic growth.
She said “mining technology has evolved over centuries and we have seen how this evolution has continued to challenge particular ideas, for example, prioritising the physical strength of workers in the mining sector. However, there is still some way to go.”
Ms Owen-Jones gave the advice at a breakfast meeting organised in Accra by the Australian High Commission in partnership with Women in Mining Ghana to mark International Women’s Day.
The event brought together over 50 women from mining companies across the country to celebrate their achievements, and discuss ways women could sensitise and support each other to increase their representation in the sector.
She explained that although women were making strong progress in joining the mining sector workforce, they remained under-represented in the large scale mining sector.
Women who work across the full spectrum of mining operations include engineers, geologists, academics, government officials and senior executives.
Women were also manual labourers and played an essential role in artisanal and small-scale mining.
Women comprise 40 to 50 per cent of Africa’s total workforce in this sub sector.
However, large-scale mining remains one of the most male-dominated industry. Some estimates indicate that women make up approximately five to 15 per cent of workers in large-scale mining worldwide.
Owen-Jones explained that gender equality was a powerful driver for economic growth and social cohesion.
She said it made communities and the world safer, secure and more prosperous, adding that “conversely, gender inequality undermines global prosperity, stability and security.”
Owen-Jones said the Australian government was committed to being at the forefront to empower women and girls and promote gender equality.
“We advance gender equality across our development programme, foreign policy efforts, and social economic diplomacy.
Australia concentrated efforts in areas where there were persistent challenges to achieving gender equality including ending violence against women and girls, advancing women’s economic empowerment and enhancing women’s voice in decision making, leadership and peace building,” she said.
Rising to the top
The Chairperson for Women in Mining Mentorship Programme, Dr Yvonne Sena Akosuah Loh, encouraged women in the male-dominated field such as the mining sector, to take up managerial courses to help improve their skills in management.
“Apart from long services, you also need the skills in management to rise to the top so make time and have a work balanced by improving yourself so that when the opportunity comes, you will be taken due to your skills.”
The challenges abound but once you decide to be in an industry, go all out there and understand the industry and play the game well,” she said.
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
The global theme for this year is: “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
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