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Industry for Gender Balance: Polymetal and Norilsk Nickel Launch Women's Support Project

Editorial Forbes Woman

Mining companies Polymetal and Norilsk Nickel have launched a project to support the development of women in the mining industry Women in Mining Russia (WIM Russia).

Last month, Forbes Woman experts summed up the decade for women in industry and concluded that the situation is changing, but so far very slowly.

It is probably with the goal of changing this situation that leading industrial companies have come together to support their employees. According to the official press release, the goal of the project is to develop equal opportunities in the work environment, support women’s leadership in the mining and metallurgical industries, as well as expand the circle of their professional contacts in Russia and abroad.

The project will include an annual forum, open seminars and business breakfasts. In addition, Women in Mining includes mentoring and coaching programs, university collaborations, and assistance in promoting talent in the mining sector. By the end of this year, the initiators of WIM Russia expect to attract up to five large mining companies and about 1,000 participants to the organization.

“The creation of the WiM Russia community will help women not only in developing their careers, expanding the circle of professional contacts, exchanging and gaining new knowledge, but in general can become a powerful tool for increasing the attractiveness of the mining and metallurgical industries among young professionals,” Kamilla Jalilova, head of the project office for working with key clients and markets of an international consulting company, told Forbes Woman.

According to Daria Kryachkova, Director of the HR Department at Norilsk Nickel, the company sees potential in developing the project primarily in raising the prestige of engineering professions among the female audience. “This is especially true now, when the introduction of modern technologies and the digitalization of production is blurring the boundaries between male and female professions in the mining and metallurgical industry,” she said.

Women in Mining Russia cooperates with the international association Women in Mining UK, which has partners in 13 countries and has 2,000 members. So, for several years now, women from Russia and the CIS countries have been participating in the international rating of this association 100 Inspirational Women in Mining – “100 inspiring women in the mining industry”. The ranking includes not only women leaders in leadership positions, but also women who have come a long way in the industry, working in remote areas and difficult conditions, women who support and promote social projects and mentoring, women geologists and other professionals who move this industry industry.

In 2018, representatives of Russia and Kazakhstan were included in the rating: Bayan Alzhanova and Madina Kaparova from KAZ Minerals, Agnes Ritter from Severstal and Daria Goncharova from Polymetal. “Businesses are beginning to see an additional resource in the gender diversification of personnel, even in such a conservative industry as mining,” comments Goncharova, who holds the position of director of sustainable development in her company, commenting on the launch of the project in Russia.

A separate area of WIM Russia’s work will be the Young Leaders Club, which will begin work in September this year. The format of the Club involves communication and exchange of experience with more experienced leaders, holding master classes and trainings. The importance of this area is due, in particular, to the gap in the speed of the emergence of new technologies and their application in enterprises, changes in the workspace.

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