Gaining Insights on Career Satisfaction for Women in Mining


Donna Beneteau, Samantha Espley,

This paper presents experiences and views of “Women in Mining” as determined from a survey conducted with women across the Canadian mining industry. The women represent many different areas within the mining industry including a broad range of roles in industry, government, academia and in the supplies and services sector. The survey data is summarized to provide insight into a range of experiences of women in mining along with feedback on possible concepts for consideration in improving the gender diversity and work satisfaction. The survey provides an overall understanding why women pursue or work in the mining industry, and why women either remain or chose to leave. The advantages and disadvantages that have been experienced by women are highlighted along with a summary of the possible initiatives that could be undertaken by employers as opportunities to improve the attraction of the mining industry for career-minded women. As well, the survey provides a summary of the top 10 features that are already in place at various organizations and community groups to support and encourage women to join and remain in the industry. Not surprisingly, the survey identifies one of the key ingredients for retention of women is the provision of mentors along with a specific style of mentoring. Another key aspect for retention is the provision of progressive employment policies that address the need for a degree of flexibility in work hours and a culture of balance between work/life demands. The survey and results are portrayed with only a female perspective. This was done deliberately as women represent a key stakeholder group that can help enhance the mining industry’s sustainability. It is believed that a gender-balanced workforce is one way of providing wider diversity in the mining industry. This is built on the strongly-held premise that wider diversity brings better solutions.