Encouraging women’s participation in Mining Engineering

Mining Engineering is a challenging and fascinating profession that remains…

Mining Engineering is a challenging and fascinating profession that remains largely dominated by men, globally.

The lack of exposure, coupled with perceived safety and “toughness” concerns, are some of the reasons that have seen limited female participation in mining engineering.

Bindura Nickel Mine (BNC)‘s Mine Captain of Projects Engineer Amanda Tigere emphasizes that one key reason females are hesitant to choose mining engineering as a career path is generally the lack of exposure. Tigere said as children, young girls are more likely to read about traditional professions like pilots or doctors, leaving limited room for learning about mining. The absence of educational resources and children’s books centered around the mining industry reduces awareness and curiosity from a young age.

“Mining is generally a tough environment. So I think for me, there are two aspects as to why females are not forthcoming in terms of selecting mining engineering. The first bit is that it’s something we are not exposed to generally as we’re growing up. Growing up, you read about pilots, you read about doctors, but rarely do you find a child’s book, which is talking about mining. So like from the very onset stage, we are not exposed to that industry at all. If ever you’re lucky to get exposed to that industry at any given time of your journey,” Tigere

Tigere lamented that misconceptions surrounding mining often deter women, further noting that mining is frequently associated with a tough and unsafe work environment. She said these perceptions create a fear factor, making mining engineering appear unappealing to potential female candidates. By addressing these misconceptions and highlighting the diverse opportunities within mining engineering, the industry can work towards fostering a more inclusive environment.

Contrary to popular belief, Mining Engineering offers a wide range of career possibilities. Tigere underscores that there is more to mining than just underground work. The field encompasses various roles, including operational, planning, and project-based positions. By showcasing the diverse opportunities available, women can be encouraged to explore the different aspects of mining engineering.

See Also

Ministry of Mines and Mining Development

“The things that you just hear around are just mining is a tough environment. So that puts you off already as a female. So I think for me, it’s an issue of exposure. We are not exposed to this. And I’d like to say mining engineering is a very broad field. It’s a very interesting field anyway. It doesn’t mean you’re just underground there is open pit mining you can be on surface, you can be an operational person, you can be in planning, you can be doing projects like i am so it’s a very broad environment but we as females are not fully exposed to the full spectrum of what constitutes of mining engineering so hence we don’t choose it when when it comes to selecting our career paths. It’s not it’s not the first thing that comes to our mind. We are not exposed to it in any way if ever we’re exposed to it, it’s from a point of fear to say it’s not a safe environment it’s tough,” Tigere said.

Tigere stresses the need for increased exposure to mining engineering for women. By actively promoting the industry and providing educational resources, young girls can gain knowledge and insights into the various career prospects in mining.

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