With the aim of highlighting the important role of women in the development of the mining industry and of the country, Lundin Gold, a Canadian company operating the Fruta del Norte mine in the province of Zamora Chinchipe, organised the second edition of the discussion “Women and the Mining Industry” in collaboration with the Chamber of Mining in Ecuador (CME), Women in Mining (WIM) Ecuador and Fundación Lundin. The event took place in Loja on 2nd June 2023.
This event was held in celebration of International Women Miners Day, which is celebrated every 15th June. During the discussion, important employees from the company, as well as representatives of the province of Zamora Chinchipe, shared their personal and professional experiences regarding the opportunities that the mining industry creates.
In accordance with the Survey on Gender in the Ecuadorian Mining Industry carried out at the end of 2021 by WIM Ecuador and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), female participation in the country reached 17%. This placed Ecuador above other Latin American countries which have much larger mining industries, such as Colombia (14%), Chile (9%) and Peru (6%).
“We are pleased to see that the actions taken to encourage the participation of women in the development of the Ecuadorian mining industry are producing results. At Lundin Gold, 17% of our staff is female, and of them, 12% occupy managerial positions. Furthermore, 44% of our Board of Directors are women. We are certain of the potential of women, and thus we will continue to strive for gender equality, diversity, inclusion, respect, and the development of opportunities.”, highlighted Ron Hochstein, President and Executive Director of Lundin Gold.
The discussion space had 2 panels: “Women’s Labour Inclusion in the Mining Industry”, moderated by Iliana Rodríguez, President of WIM Ecuador, and “The Role of the Woman for Economic Development In Relation to the Mining Sector”, led by María Eulalia Silva, Executive President of the CME.
According to Iliana Rodríguez of WIM Ecuador, “It is necessary to continue to develop these spaces which promote discussion and an exchange of experiences in order to build more inclusive and equal mining environments which are focused on closing economic and social gaps in an industry which is dominated by men.”
María Eulalia Silva highlighted the participation of women in the areas of influence of mining projects: “You are part of the fundamental progress and development of your communities, your work is an example for more women to promote their businesses or to become professionals. Mining institutions and companies have the responsibility to support your capacity for action and leadership.”
The event was attended by important regional representatives from various State departments, local authorities including María Lalangui, Mayor of Yantzaza, and Maricela Tocto, Councillor of Yantzaza, strategic allies, professors and students from the Universidad de Azuay, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja and Universidad Nacional de Loja, the Centre for Innovation and Development for Industry and mining (CIMA-UTPL), as well as trade union representatives, and allies and the media from Zamora Chinchipe and Loja.