Gender, diversity and the Responsible Gold Mining Principles

The Responsible Gold Mining Principles recognise the historic under-representation of women. Indeed in some countries there remain significant constraints on women’s ability to undertake operational mining roles. Leading gold mining companies are committed to addressing historical injustices and ensure that there are opportunities for women at all levels within their organisations.

Principle 6.6 of the Responsible Gold Mining Principles states: ‘We are committed to identifying and resolving barriers to the advancement and fair treatment of women in our workplaces. Through our employment, supply chain, training and community investment programmes, we will aim to contribute to the socio-economic empowerment of women in the communities associated with our operations.’

 

The gold mining industry’s gender commitment embraces both opportunities for women in the workplace and in surrounding communities. Principle 7.2, for example, on ‘Understanding Communities’ commits implementing companies to ‘be alert to the dangers of causing differentially negative impacts on women, children, indigenous peoples and other potentially vulnerable or marginalised groups’ and insists that they should ensure that the voices of these stakeholders ‘are heard’. Ani Markova, an independent Non-Executive Director of Ghana-focussed mining company Golden Star, commented "I am thrilled that these Principles integrate diversity. I believe that if we inspire the women in our organisations we will reach higher levels of success."

 

The World Gold Council was delighted when, at the time of publication, Women in Mining (WiM) welcomed the RGMPs as going "many steps beyond other industry frameworks and guidelines on gender diversity to show how the Principles are to be implemented, measured and maintained, with external assurance required…We applaud the Council’s leadership on progressing women in mining.”

This strong endorsement was reinforced when WiM hosted a briefing on the Principles in London earlier this year. Panellists included representatives from WiM, PWC on behalf of the assurance providers and Sustainalytics, representing the perspectives of ESG ratings agencies and data providers. WiM’s UK Managing Director, Alex Buck commented: ‘“The event was standing room only, which exemplifies the strong level of interest from investors, corporates and consultants in understanding the RGMPs, their importance and inclusion into investment decisions, and how to consider integrating them into corporate reporting.”