Cape Town, South Africa, February 1,
2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Lonmin Plc today launched
a guide to help mining companies incorporate women into their workforce
and increase the benefits women and their families receive from mining
The mining sector traditionally has
been a difficult place for women to work. But IFC and Lonmin have
spent the last two years developing innovative solutions that enabled Lonmin
to increase its female workforce to bring it closer to the
10 percent as required by the South African Mining legislation .
IFC and Lonmin used this experience to develop the Women in Mining
Business Case, a guide other mining companies can use to increase women
in the workforce.
“The mining sector is a powerful vehicle
for helping people improve their lives and escape poverty,” said William
Bulmer, Global Head of IFC Mining, during the launch at the Indaba Mining
Conference. “Our work with Lonmin has taught us many great lessons
on how to increase the role of women in mining operations, and I’m excited
we can share our knowledge with the global mining industry.”
The guide will help companies with issues
such as how to accommodate women working in core mining and processing,
including providing basic amenities such as underground facilities and
change rooms for women. The guide also focuses on how companies can
create a culture that recruits and retains women.
“Lonmin’s aim is to create an enabling
environment for women to not only pursue careers at the mine, but also
thrive in the mining profession,” said Barnard Mokwena, Executive Vice
President, Lonmin Human Capital and External Affairs. “In the last
two years, the Lonmin-IFC Women in Mining project has instituted processes
geared towards cultural transformation at Lonmin.”
IFC supports mining companies operating
in developing countries with debt and equity financing and provides advice
on local supplier development, women empowerment, HIV/AIDS prevention,
and community engagement. Lonmin is the world’s third-largest platinum
producer and operates mines in South Africa’s Northwest and Limpopo provinces.
The company employs 25,000 people in mines that should be active
for another 30 years.
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently
seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity
for the poor in developing countries—including by helping companies incorporate
women into their workforce.
For more information about the guide,
please visit www.ifc.org/ogmc.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.