Mining IQ

Hardrock Mining and the Evolution of the Roles for Women

History has shown that the hardrock mining industry is not a typical workplace for women. Of course there have been the exceptions over the last century, mostly associated with women working in industry jobs while many of their male counterparts fought in war. The mining industry in Sudbury, in particular, has been the subject of various research efforts and publications detailing the roles of women in industrial labour positions during wartime. Other than this period in time, women have had few opportunities to work within the hardrock mining industry – and have been primarily restricted to administrative duties.

More recently, with government regulations on hiring practices and with the social emphasis on equal-opportunity efforts, the mining industry has shown a progressive attitude toward hiring women into the workforce. This paper examines the roles for women at Inco Limited. During the last decade, there have been various initiatives for equal opportunities to men and women. For instance, Inco has demonstrated affirmative action 1) in hiring women in technical roles, 2) in advancing women into supervisory positions, and 3) in encouraging and offering opportunities for women to work in labour positions. In fact, the Company’s statistics show an upward trend for women in these roles. One obvious reason for the increase, besides management philosophy, is the diminished requirement for extreme physical activity related to work and just a requirement for mental capacity.

Hardrock Mining and the Evolution of the Roles for Women.

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