n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Barriers to career advancement of women in mining : a qualitative analysis

Volume 41 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223


In recent years, various initiatives, protocols and legislation have been developed globally to promote gender equality and address existing discrimination against women. South Africa is no exception to this trend. In the global mining industry, equal opportunity and mining legislation introduced by various countries, including South Africa, have opened up former bastions, such as mining, to women. 

Since the introduction of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 and the accompanying Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter, in 2004, the number of women in the mining industry has increased significantly. However, the “gender issue” still remains contentious and very problematic in the industry and women are still subjected to various challenges. 

This article aims to reveal the barriers women encounter in the industry. This study adopted a qualitative research design. Data were collected by means of semi-structured individual and group interviews. The research findings show that women are subjected to social, physiological, structural and employment barriers. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that the relevant government departments, top and senior management in the mining industry, as well as human resource managers and employment relations practitioners embrace and support a clear-cut vision of gender diversity in the industry.

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