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  • Writer's pictureWiMSA

International Women's Day 2023

The Rise of Women Does Not Mean the Fall of Men - A Lift as We Rise Approach to Embracing Equality

Prepared by Maria Combrink | WiMSA Deputy Chairperson

WiMSA Panellists at the IWD2023 Event

At times when there is a discussion of upliftment of one part or group in society, it seems that the natural thought pattern of other groups with rights and privileges is that the societal consideration to groups must somehow be taken from one pot of rights and then redistributed. When in fact, rights, respect, and equality is not a finite resource – it is in fact one of the most infinite resources that we have to share in society.

WiMSA celebrated International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March, at an event hosted by Allan Gray.

There was a panel discussion with the topic ‘The rise of women does not mean the fall of men – a lift as we rise approach to equality’.

The panel was facilitated by our WiMSA Deputy Chairperson, Maria Combrink and comprised of:

  • Thabile Makgala - Executive: Eastern Limb, Implats,

  • Hermien Botes - Head of Sustainability Engagement Anglo American,

  • Mthobisi Mthimkulu - Manager: Direct clients and retail distribution, Allan Gray, and

  • Loni Gallant - Senior Exploration Geologist and Chairperson of the Northern Cape Branch of GSSA.

The discussion started with Thabile giving an overview of the benefits of equality, and how these can be brought into real life situations. Hermien continued on the importance of the role mining industry plays in ensuring social equality outside the operational borders, by creating conversations, resources, and opportunities for communities close to operations, as well as ensuring that men are an integral part of the conversation.

This tied in with the points raised by Mthobisi that men should be aware of how they behave, not only at work but also at home, and that we must be sure that industry leaders really want the change described in policies. After Loni related her experiences in the field (often as the only woman), it is clear that what we need is not a drive to equality, but a drive to equity.

By ensuring that we create accessible and comfortable spaces for women, we also create healthier and more comfortable spaces for men – resulting in an all-round win-win situation.

All of the panellists agreed that the conversation must include men, and that there is still a long way to go towards equity, but that we must celebrate the smaller victories.

After an impromptu poll of the audience, it is evident that business leaders still have a lot of work to do, to show that policies are not only tick box exercises, but true changes are really desired and driven.


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