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business|platinum|sustainable|systems|training|underground|operations

Promoting women in PGMs sector

Impala Platinum Rustenburg mine and processing plant with the sun rising through the clouds

A NEW DAWN The outlook for women in mining looks ever more promising when mines like Implats offer gender mainstreaming programmes

11th August 2023

By: Halima Frost

Senior Writer

     

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Platinum group metals miner Impala Platinum (Implats) says it is committed to gender mainstreaming, which is to intentionally advance women in the workplace, and has established plans and policies designed to give effect to this in a sustainable way.

In parallel, Implats’ skills development programmes aim to create a pipeline of young diverse talent, with specific focus on increasing female representation, and succession planning to ensure advancement of women within the various career paths.

“Gender diversity is a business priority, ranging from setting targets, to holding leaders accountable for results,” says Impala Rustenburg GM Nonkululeko Mabuza.

She adds that the main focus is to address all areas where women are underrepresented and to close the gender gaps in retaining women, hiring, promoting and pay-wise.

“We started employing women underground in 2004 and targeted employment of women at entry level with the aim to develop and promote from within,” says Mabuza.

Additionally, Implats’ training programmes reflect a significant increase in the intake of women at tertiary education level and in-house training opportunities with the aim of presenting more opportunities for women in core and critical occupations.

She suggests that mentoring is also a good way to build confidence in junior employees and programmes are implemented to upskill women on identified training initiatives, as well as the role succession planning can play in terms of setting career targets.

“Gender inequality will not disappear of its own accord,” Mabuza regards, adding that as such, Implats is committed to integrating gender equity into its policies, structures, systems and operations.

Further, she states that conscious strategies and intentional policies are essential to eliminate gender inequality in broader society.

These should take the form of specific measures to recruit, develop and promote women, and to train, develop and support women-owned businesses – with the intent to address inequality in the workplace and the broader structure of the economy.

Developing and empowering female students, employees and entrepreneurs, together with eliminating unfair discrimination, practices and stereotyping of women, should be central goals.

Mabuza concludes that women's full and equal participation at all levels of the economy should be the measure of gender equality.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

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