The 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining 2018 publication features no less than 16 women from South Africa who were selected from 642 nominated by female and male colleagues around the world. 

The South African finalists were among 100 women from 28 countries chosen for visible contributions above and beyond their daily responsibilities according to the Chairman of Women in Mining South Africa (WiMSA) Lindiwe Nakedi.

“The criteria for the top 100 women went beyond just being great at their jobs. It was also for being inspiring based on their perseverance in the face of adversity, their trailblazing approach to the industry and their activities to empower others, including being a voice and role model for diversity and inclusion,” Lindi points

WiMSA provides a free platform for supporting and guiding the personal growth, leadership and career development of women in the country’s mining industry. 

The non-profit organization with over 2 500 members was established in 2010 with support coming from sponsorships and time given by volunteers.

“In South Africa very little is done to recognise the women who contribute to the mining industry so this has been an inspirational experience and pleasure to be recognised, especially internationally.

Although the mining companies themselves are now working hard to be inclusive and transform, it is still taking time to have more women enter the industry and be retained until they reach executive levels,” Lindi says

“The significance of 16 of our members making the final 100 on the list finds relevance when we look at our country’s numbers. Women make up 51,3% of the population but in the mining sector out of approximately 464 667 jobs only 12%, or 53 179 are held by women.

“There are 241 in top management and 800 odd in senior management. Even sadder, the number of women at mine ownership level is almost none existent!”

Lindi believes a lot remains to be done in the legislative field and challenges the government to level the mining industry playing fields with the Mining Charter prioritised to provide more support, monitoring and enforcement than it presently does.  We see the Minister of Minerals Resources Gwede Mantashe as a key influencer in achieving this

“I believe it is imperative to have more young women encouraged to study mining courses, be given scholarships and bursaries, as well as being mentored and sponsored throughout the process for better success rates in the career path particularly in the technical roles as well as in leadership.”

Lindiwe who owns Gubhani Exploration a surface drilling company, which is currently the only 100% black female owned drilling company in South Africa is about to hand over the reins of WiMSA to Implats Mining Executive Thabile Makgala.

Thabile was the first female learner miner and graduate at Kloof and Driefontein Mines (now owned by Sibanye Gold) in South Africa. And is currently Executive: Mining at IMPLATS. Thabile is also one of the 16 South African women who have made

the list of Top 100 Inspirational Women in Mining for her successes and contributions to the industry.

Lindi concludes by pointing to challenges in a male ‘populated’ and dominated South African mining industry. “There are challenges relating to safety, cultural differences or beliefs when it comes to gender issues and work-life balance.

Women are still primary care givers at home and in many instances mine work is shift-based so the balancing act is even more challenging for women. 

Then there is the pay gap which must be tackled as women still have to demand equal pay, respect and to be seen as capable and as knowledgeable in their chosen fields.”

“Sadly, our situation is summed up by President Ramaphosa who said:

‘We remain a highly unequal society in which poverty and prosperity are still defined by race as well as gender’ while our hope lies in the words of Kofi Annan:  ‘Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”

The 16 women in the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining 2018

Lindiwe Nakedi – Owner & Director of Gubhani Exploration and Chairperson WiMSA

Thabile Makgala – Executive: Mining; Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Chairperson Elect WIMSA

Dr Thuthula Balfour – Head of Health; Minerals Council South Africa (Patron of WiMSA)

Makhosazana Sibisi – Chief Executive Officer; WaterBearer Sustainable Development (Patron of WiMSA)

Deshnee Naidoo – Chief Executive Officer; Vedanta Zinc International (Patron of WiMSA)

Farana Boodhram – Chief Executive Officer; Avita Mining

Gargi Mishra – Senior Principal Industry Innovation; Accenture

Megan Becker – Associate Professor; Centre for Minerals Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town.

Tzvet Ilarionova – Vice President & Group Head Finance; Gold Fields Ltd.

Nolundi Luthuli – Graduate Trainee CSR; ArcelorMittal South Africa

Tebogo Mosito Mashego – Chief Executive Officer; Ditsogo Projects Pty Ltd.

Wilhemina Ncgobo – Operations Manager; Assman Pty Ltd.

Stella Skosana – Executive Secretary; Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine

Nompumelelo Zikalala – Deputy Chief Executive Officer; De Beers Consolidated Mines

Dineo Phaladi – Mine Overseer; Anglo American PLC- Kumba Iron Ore

Maria Sanz Perez – Executive Vice President – Legal, Commercial & Governance & Company Secretary