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South Deep lauds women in their workplace - Randfontein Herald

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Gold Fields' South Deep Mine in Westonaria about the valuable difference women make to its business.

Gold Fields' South Deep Mine in Westonaria recognised the outstanding contribution made by women in the mining sector in South Africa, and in particular, the contribution made by the 674 women employed at South Deep Mine.

According to Martin Preece, Executive Vice President at Gold Fields, the lack of female representation in the workplace is a global business issue across industries and geographies.

He said women in the South African mining industry face a range of challenges, which often prevent them from either choosing a career in mining or remaining in mining roles. In South Africa, women make up just 12 per cent of the mining industry, compared to 17 per cent in Australia and 16 per cent in Canada.

"South Deep recognised the positive impact of a diverse and inclusive workforce on both business and financial performance, and is committed to establishing a gender-representative workforce at all levels of the business.

At present 23 per cent of South Deep employees are women. These numbers highlight the progress the mine has made, but also the work that remains to be done, with a key focus on removing barriers that have traditionally made mining less appealing to women."

The Mine aims to advance a diverse workforce by:

Preece continued, "At South Deep, women comprise 23 per cent of the overall workforce. The percentage varies for different management levels: among executive management 33 per cent are women; 6 per cent at senior management; 19 per cent at middle management; and 23 per cent at junior management.

"Women play many critical roles in our lives, our society and in our work environments. This is also true at South Deep, where many women are ambassadors and role models to our people, and in particular to other women who want to follow careers in mining.

We believe that gender equality is key to a fair and trusting work environment that will strengthen organisational culture and ultimately improve business performance.

"It has been proven that societies and workplaces that are more inclusive are also more productive and competitive. In an equal environment, free of discrimination, everyone wins.

"As men, we have a very important role to play in ensuring that all workplaces are equitable environments free of any form of discrimination and harassment, where people of all genders can flourish and reach their full potential. By learning and understanding the issues surrounding gender equality, men can make a difference and support women."

South Deep is deeply concerned by the escalation of violence against women and children, and does not tolerate any behaviour of this nature as it is in direct contravention of the company's values. The obligation of treating people with dignity and respect extends beyond the workplace, and all South Deep employees are expected to support women and children.

"As a society, we have a lot of work to do in the space of gender equality. At South Deep, we will continue to ensure that ours is a culture of inclusivity and diversity, which recognises the value that women bring to our business," concluded Preece.

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