Skip to Main Content

Women and the Mine of the Future

Major economic trends are transforming large-scale mining across the globe. These include rapid technological advances, pressure to mine more responsibly from investors and other stakeholders, and rising demand for critical minerals for a low-carbon energy transition. But how will these trends affect women working in the sector and related supply chains? The implications are difficult to understand due to a lack of high-quality, comparable data on women in the mining workforce.

Women and the Mine of the Future is a collaborative project to increase understanding of the status quo for women in mining, so stakeholders can anticipate, assess, and address gendered impacts as mining evolves. This initiative builds on research from our New Tech, New Deal project that was supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Project Partners

  • Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals, and Sustainable Development (IGF)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Environmental Governance Programme of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency the United Nations Development Programme
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • International Women in Mining (IWiM)
Background: IWiM’s Director puts the project in context: Establishing Baseline Data for Women and the Mine of the Future

Baseline Gender Profile

The first phase of the project is to establish a baseline gender profile for workers in large-scale mining to inform an assessment of how global mining trends will affect women in mining and related supply chains. In turn, the project partners will identify gaps and challenges impeding women’s participation in mining and provide guidance and technical support for decision-makers to promote gender equality in the sector.

The data displayed below is part of the project’s baseline analysis of gender-segregated data for 10 countries to provide greater understanding of the gendered employment profile of large-scale mining and its supply chain. It is drawn from household surveys, such as national labour force surveys, which the ILO has collected, processed, and harmonized for country-to-country comparison.

Analysis: IWiM’s Head of Research digs into the data: Exploring the ILO’s Gender Disaggregated Data on Mining Employment


Download high-resolution infographics and read the disclaimer and methodological note for more information.

Discussion: What does the future hold for women in large-scale mining?

Investing in the Women Working in ASM is the Only Way Forward

Any effort to make ASM more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable must address the acute challenges facing women in the sector.

How Will Women Fit Into the Mining Workforce of the Future?

Why does Gender Equality in the Mining Workforce Matter?

Exploring the ILO’s Gender-Disaggregated Data on Mining Employment

Digging into the ILO's gender-disaggregated employment databases for a diverse set of mining nations.

Establishing Baseline Data for Women and the Mine of the Future

Women must be both heard in the workplace and seen in the data to continue to improve diversity, governance, and sustainability in the sector.

New Tech and Mining’s Future: Will prospects improve for women?

Mining is traditionally associated with heavy and manual-intensive labour. Accordingly, the mining sector is one of the most male-dominated sectors, with women making up only 5% to 10%

Five Ways Mining Policy-Makers Can Support Gender Equality through Community Development

We break down five recommendations for governments to establish good policy instruments that help remedy longstanding gender inequalities.

Women at a community meeting in Guinea-Bissau

Disaggregated Data: The foundation of gendered impact assessments

Governments and mining companies need gender-disaggregated data to — which is severely lacking in the sector — to adequately address gendered impacts.

Women in artisanal and small-scale mining

Four Ways to Spearhead Transformation for Gender Equality in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

Women make up a large portion of the ASM workforce, so how can we ensure gender equality in the sector? We break down four ways.

Women in artisanal and small-scale mining

Fostering Sustainable Livelihoods for Women in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

With women in ASM facing so many challenges, how can we foster their economic independence and sustainable livelihoods? This column explores five ways.

Artisanal and small-scale mining

How Can Universities and NGOs Support Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining?

In this guest blog, Dr. Harmony Musiyarira highlights how access to finance may be one of the biggest impediments to empowering women artisanal miners and what universities and NGOs can