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Fraser Alexander: Championing the cause for gender equality in mining

Founded over a century ago, 100% black-owned and predominantly black women-owned outsourced mining and industrial services provider Fraser Alexander has a keen understanding of what is required to build a successful and sustainable business with a workforce that is both diverse and inclusive.

According to Claire McMaster, Executive Head of Human Resources at Fraser Alexander, the company is fast building #Futurefraser which provides unlimited opportunities to diversify its workforce, in terms of profile of employees, skills, ways of working, and the technology being applied.

To this end, the company strives to increase female representation at all levels in its business. Fraser Alexander is led by a board whose membership is 43% black female. Further to such representation, all board committees – which comprise the Audit and Risk, Social and Ethics, and Remuneration Committees – are chaired by women of colour.

According to Enock Ramoabi, General Manager of Tailings South Africa, there has been significant improvement in people, production, safety and plant management when compared with previous periods in the business due to the deployment of diverse teams. He highlights two projects in his division in which performance has improved dramatically. He puts this down to a different approach to employee management at the workplace, and to the deployment of well-qualified and experienced professionals on both projects.

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN MINING REVIEW AFRICA ISSUE 4, 2021
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Another key initiative that is driving female empowerment in the company is Women in Mining Fraser Alexander (WIMFA). “This is a voluntary organisation within our company that was established to provide support to women at all levels while they tackle the challenges presented by an industry that is historically male dominated. The forum makes use of a regional approach to ensure data flow and support to and from all operations,” explains McMaster.

Equal opportunities for all

McMaster adds that the company is heavily focused on eradicating any form of discrimination, including gender discrimination. This is achieved through strong transformation policies and training. She states that every employee has a development plan, and all training initiatives experience equal representation.

The annual intake of graduates and learners include a representative number of women. “Our employee value proposition ensures a working environment that is free from bias and discrimination, ensures safe working conditions and actively values diversity.”

According to Kholofelo Masunga, Head of Procurement at Fraser Alexander, in 2020 the business outperformed its targeted spend for black female-owned businesses. The organisation continues to identify and empower women-led businesses to participate in its supply chain through ESD initiatives.

In addition, Fraser Alexander has been an ongoing sponsor of Women in Mining South Africa (WIMSA) for the last few years, primarily through the support of its annual career fair, which aims to encourage women to join the mining industry by highlighting the various careers that are available.

Recently the business added support to its proactive approach against Gender Based Violence by contributing to the GBVF Response Fund1, a national fund set up to eradicate GBV.

Fraser Alexander is proud of its role as a sustainability partner and remains committed to its multifaceted strategy to drive diversity in the mining industry.

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