Petra recognises the benefits of a diverse workforce and actively encourages women at all levels of the business.
Our aim is to afford women the appropriate training, development and attention to progress within the organisation across all job levels. Petra has a number of initiatives which focus on developing women into managerial positions, such as the LDP, which has since its inception focused on the advancement of women. (28% of participants are female). We are focused on affording women an equal role as part of the next generation of Petra employees, and as a result 43% of our interns, 33% of our engineering learnerships, 31% of our mining learnerships and 26% of our bursars in FY 2017 were female.
To support the development of women, Petra formed a Women in Mining (“WIM”) Committee in FY 2015, with the aim of creating a platform at Petra’s South African operations to share experiences, identify challenges in the workplace and to promote development opportunities. The WIM Committee is tasked with reviewing Company policies and procedures, with the goal
of attracting and retaining female representation in the Group, as well as providing input and recommendations to management on issues relating to women. The WIM Committee meets
every quarter and provides input and feedback to the Petra Group HSEQ Steering Committee.
In February 2017 a group of women from Petra attended the Leadership Development for Women in Mining conference in South Africa, aimed at empowering women working in our industry.
The focus of the conference was on providing women with the necessary information to understand the environment in which we operate, as well as legislative changes which are currently being carried out and how these will affect working conditions for women going forward. The conference also focused on the importance of investing in the skills base through training and development.
Attendees considered the conference to be invaluable due to the level of detail provided on each subject discussed, as well as the opportunity it provided to engage with subject matter experts on issues that are relevant to Petra’s operations. The conference also provided the opportunity to network with other women in the industry who have insights into different mining technologies and systems and how these could be used to enable women to become more involved in the mining industry.
One of the highlights of the conference was a presentation given by Petra on the Company’s Enterprise Development Programme and how it is changing the lives of women in mining communities. It is very encouraging to see the positive impact Petra is able to have on its local communities in this regard.
The conference also gave participants hope for the future of mining by reinforcing the notion that mines are places for women as well and should not just be considered a ‘man’s world’.