At a Glance
The growing automation and digitization of mining operations are expected to affect the size and skill set of the mining workforce in both developed and developing countries.
Social pressure and the implementation of gender-targeted policies based on observed differences in the performance of certain tasks are leading companies in all sectors to promote more gender-inclusive recruitment policies. As a result, the employment of women in mining operations is increasing.
Women’s share of total mining employment is expected to continue rising as automation increases and physical strength decreases in relevance for most jobs.
- Ramp-UP: A Study on the Status of Women in Canada's Mining and Exploration Sector (Mining Industry Human Resources Council, Women in Mining Canada)
- Industries at a Glance: Mining (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Managing Through the Cycle: A Strategic Approach to Workforce Planning in the Mining Industry (Mining Industry Human Resources Council)
- Productivity in Mining: Now Comes the Hard Part (Ernst and Young, Sustainable Minerals Institute)
Cyclical and Secular Determinants of Productivity in the Copper, Aluminum, Iron Ore, and Coal Industries
This paper examines the perceived decline in mining productivity and suggests it could potentially be due to an unanticipated growth in ...
This resource aims to provide decision makers with information on best practices regarding how to mainstream gender in mining-related ...
Linkages to the Resource Sector: The Role of Companies, Government, and International Development Cooperation
This publication includes information for key linkages in the resource sector. Each linkage explored includes a literature review and case ...
This report provides some theoretical grounding in workforce planning, followed by a comprehensive discussion of workforce planning in ...
Over sixty interviews with senior mining executives globally were compiled into this comprehensive survey, addressing key productivity ...
This report provides wide-ranging employment data collected from hundreds of women at all levels in the mining and exploration sectors. It ...
The Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) Sector and its Importance for EU Cooperation with Resource-rich Developing and Emerging Countries
This brief report provides an overview of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector and its relationship to large-scale mining, ...
The site provides detailed statistics for the U.S. mining industry. The data also holds interest for non-U.S. users mainly because ...
The aim of this document is to address the challenges faced by resource-rich developing countries in developing their resources in a way ...
For policy makers seeking to use the mining sector to increase the quantity and quality of local employment, two recent trends are particularly relevant: mining automation and gender-informed recruiting policies.
The growing automation and digitization of mining operations are expected to affect the size and skill set of the mining workforce. This trend is not confined to developed countries. For example, Randgold Resources invested more than $2.7 billion in the underground operation’s automated material handling system of its Kibali gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to make it one of Africa’s most automated gold mines. 
The promotion of gender-inclusive recruitment policies is part of a global approach being taken by companies in all sectors; this is boosting female employment in mining operations. For example, in 2016, BHP announced a commitment to increase the share of women in its workforce to 50 percent by 2025. While this trend is to some extent the result of social pressure on mining companies, it also reflects gender-targeted policies based on observed performance differences between genders in certain tasks. For example, women tend to be more responsible and careful drivers, and are therefore increasingly employed to operate large equipment.
In the future, women’s share of total mining employment may also be boosted by increasing automation and the reduced relevance of physical strength for most jobs. Further details on this trend are provided in “Ramp-UP: A Study on the Status of Women in Canada’s Mining and Exploration Sector” (page 11) found in the Key Resources.