Women mostly missing at London’s ‘Mines and Money’ event

Europe’s leading mining conference and exhibition kicked off in London this Monday, with about 7% of the conference’s keynote speakers and panelists being women, and only one of them a member of a visible minority. Sounds about right, as this meagre percentage accurately reflects women’s still dismal representation in the international mining arena, but more importantly, on the corporate boards of these mining companies.

“It is quite regrettable that despite years of high-profile pressure to bolster the numbers of women in the mining industry, women are still not represented fairly at mining events but much more significant than that, women continue to fill less than 10% of seats on the boards of mining and energy companies at this conference,” says Barbara Dischinger, Founder and Director of International Women in Mining Community, based in London.

“As all research indicates, the mining industry has fewer women on boards than any other major industry. In the world’s top 500 listed mining companies, just 7% of all directorships are held by women. It’s about time for some REAL change!”

To bring about this change — and along the way challenge the “good ole” stereotypes that there are just not enough women available to sit on boards, or that they lack either executive or technical/engineering expertise,  Ms. Dischinger and International Women in Mining Community, which has almost 9,000 members worldwide, have just launched an international Women on Boards Project. Its goals are to:

  • Teach women about governance and serving on boards;
  • Prepare women for board applications and interviews;
  • Provide a forum for board-ready women to network; and,
  • Establish a database of highly-qualified women that mining companies can access.

“Whether it is at Mines and Money, or at the head of a company or in the board room, women are as committed to the mining profession as men are. They also bring real talent and expertise that should not be overlooked.”