ED'S NOTE

A time to lead

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Welcome to another edition of South Africa’s favourite mining bi-monthly, as we celebrate the wonderful women of mining, who are increasingly demanding access to key roles in the chain of command, trying to break the stereotype of a male dominated industry.

But is enough being done to promote women to boardroom positions, after we’ve seen a decline in the number of female CEOs? When I took over as editor of Mining Prospectus six years ago there were a few women in CEO positions, with Cynthia Carroll, Maria Ramos and Dr Mamphela Ramphele coming to mind off the top of my head.

With only Ramos left in a top CEO position it appears we have gone backwards in the promotion of women to key areas. This brings into question the effectiveness of empowerment policies. One director that I interviewed recently felt that women are employed in junior and middle management positions more than in senior leadership roles, both locally and in so-called first-world countries like the USA that often mirror our inequalities. It is time to fully empower women to lead.

I would go on to comment that South Africa could well benefit from having a woman leading the country too. After the mixed reviews of the current administration, a change in style and approach that a competent woman can bring would be refreshing. Take Thuli Madonsela for instance, she would make a fine leader, with proven integrity and courage to stand up for what is good and just.

Let’s be honest, the mining industry in South Africa is currently idling alone in neutral. Under the right leadership this industry has the potential to be the backbone of the economy again, and not a cause for concern among gun-shy investors.

The next election will have an enormous impact on mining, and the economy in general. A positive result of better leadership, be it within the DA or ANC, would be a game changer. If we carry on with the same old gravy train, we will never the reach a destination of greater prosperity for the majority, which can only happen in a vibrant, growing economy that has the backing of the international community.

Until next time,

Gregory Simpson

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