Research has revealed over 50% of women in the mining industry face gender-based discrimination while nearly 40% of them face sexual harassment in either their line of duty or seeking jobs.
Some 17% of them experience sexual demands from hiring managers and 44% reported that they faced retaliation or victimization for reporting harassment.
The research, conducted by Dr. Bruno Ayaga Kansake of the Missouri University of Science and Technology and others, sought to identify challenges faced by female mining stakeholders and the availability of support facilities for handling these challenges.
The team of researchers undertook a survey to understand the reasons for low female participation in the industry with participants from Ghana, USA, Ireland, Canada and other countries.
The methodology used open and closed-ended questionnaires, administered through online platforms and the responses analyzed quantitatively using summary statistics and qualitatively using thematic analysis.
It turned out that about 38% of the respondents expressed satisfaction with their current jobs.
In instances where respondents expressed dissatisfaction about their jobs, 29% of them complained about lower salaries compared to male counterparts, 53% complained about Gender-based discrimination, 37% about sexual harassment, and 17% about sexual demands during hiring.
The research grouped the key hindrances to a gender-inclusive mining sector into seven themes including discrimination, harassment, gender ideologies, and lack of support.
The researchers then proposed a four-way mind map model requiring commitment from government, companies, chambers of mines, and employees to ensure a gender-inclusive mining industry.