Cape Town, South Africa, February 1, 2010
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Lonmin Plc today launched a guide to help mining companies incorporate women into their workforce and increase the benefits women and their families receive from mining projects.
The mining sector traditionally has been a difficult place for women to work. But IFC and Lonmin have spent the last two years developing innovative solutions that enabled Lonmin to increase its female workforce to bring it closer to the 10 percent as required by the South African Mining legislation . IFC and Lonmin used this experience to develop the
Women in Mining Business Case
, a guide other mining companies can use to increase women in the workforce.
“The mining sector is a powerful vehicle for helping people improve their lives and escape poverty,” said William Bulmer, Global Head of IFC Mining, during the launch at the Indaba Mining Conference. “Our work with Lonmin has taught us many great lessons on how to increase the role of women in mining operations, and I’m excited we can share our knowledge with the global mining industry.”
The guide will help companies with issues such as how to accommodate women working in core mining and processing, including providing basic amenities such as underground facilities and change rooms for women. The guide also focuses on how companies can create a culture that recruits and retains women.
“Lonmin’s aim is to create an enabling environment for women to not only pursue careers at the mine, but also thrive in the mining profession,” said Barnard Mokwena, Executive Vice President, Lonmin Human Capital and External Affairs. “In the last two years, the Lonmin-IFC Women in Mining project has instituted processes geared towards cultural transformation at Lonmin.”
IFC supports mining companies operating in developing countries with debt and equity financing and provides advice on local supplier development, women empowerment, HIV/AIDS prevention, and community engagement. Lonmin is the world’s third-largest platinum producer and operates mines in South Africa’s Northwest and Limpopo provinces. The company employs 25,000 people in mines that should be active for another 30 years.
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by helping companies incorporate women into their workforce.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit