The ‘Un-Womanly’ Attitudes of Women in Mining towards the Environment

Citation:

Laplonge, Dean. 2017. “The ‘Un-Womanly’ Attitudes of Women in Mining towards the Environment.” The Extractive Industries and Society 4 (2): 304–309. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2017.01.011.

Author: Dean Laplonge

Abstract:

In this paper I explore whether the employment of more women in mining will result in improved environmental management and practices in that industry. The debate about gender in mining regularly includes claims that the employment of more women will help change the industry. These claims rely on essentialist ideas about how women behave, and fail to consider the production of masculinity as the preferred gender for all mining employees. Drawing on the results of a survey which explores the attitudes of women who work in mining towards the environment, I conclude that the sex of employees is not the best indicator of possible change in environmental management and practices in the industry. Women who work in mining do not display a particularly strong or unique connection to the environment which would encourage them to drive change in their workplaces. In conclusion, I suggest that ecofeminism might offer better hope of improved environmental practices in mining; and call for more work to be done to explore how this might work in mining operations.

Keywords: gender, mining, evironment, management

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gender Balance

Year: 2017

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