Mining and construction sectors want to increase hiring of women

Mining and construction sectors want to increase hiring of women

Female presence has grown, but in a modest way and companies in these areas remain mostly male; target in mining is to reach 34% by 2030

In a quick search for data on female participation among workers in the construction and mining sectors, traditionally dominated by men, it is not surprising to observe the low presence of women. For example, the 1st Progress Report of the Action Plan for the Advancement of Women in the Mining Industry, carried out by the Women In Mining Brasil movement (WIMBrasil), points out that only 15% of the workforce in Brazilian mining is female.

The target for this sector, however, is to reach 34% in 2030; a number that, combined with the results of a CNI (National Confederation of Industry) survey published on March 8th, reveals advances in promoting more equal conditions between men and women in companies in the sector: six out of ten companies have policies to promote equality of gender.

Faced with this scenario and with the aim of spreading the search for diversity and advances in female inclusion in predominantly male sectors, M&T EXPO will promote a happy hour with the theme “Women’s Representation in Infrastructure: reflection on the challenges of equal opportunities”. The event will be held on March 28, at 5 pm, at the headquarters of Instituto de Engenharia, a partner entity of the fair. Women leaders in the sector and pioneers of diversity will be present, who will share their experiences and perspectives.

Meetings like this need to be encouraged because, if before women claimed recognition, today inclusion is a mandatory practice within companies that seek adaptation to new management parameters and organizational culture. “The participation of women and other minority audiences is not being made possible by imposition, it is the result of corporate maturation and changes in society”, observes Thaisa Miyasaki, marketing manager at Messe Muenchen do Brasil, organizer of M&T EXPO.

According to Thaisa, although companies in the infrastructure sector are still far from overcoming gender inequality, significant progress has been made over the years, with emphasis on technical capacity, workforce and women’s articulation. “These changes are driving women’s progress in the sector, where new generations of female engineers, equipment operators, commercial managers and in different management areas are already notable”, she points out.

Female presence rises 50% in construction

In civil construction, the female presence has been growing gradually and annually. In 2021, for example, the number of women rose by 50% and currently there are more than 200,000 professionals occupying positions in engineering offices, industries and construction sites, according to data from the Ministry of Labor and Employment. In Brazil, several projects were created to qualify female labor, such as the Program “Mulheres Construindo Autonomia na Construção Civil” (in a free translation, “Women Building Autonomy in Civil Construction”) , created in 2012 by the federal government, with the purpose of training low-income women to enter this labor market.

The third sector has also encouraged the entry of women into construction. Of the initiatives created, the project “Mão na Massa” (Hands On)  stands out, in Rio de Janeiro, and the  NGO “Mulheres em Construção” (in a free translation, “Women under Construction”), in Rio Grande do Sul, both with the aim of offering training courses in the area of civil construction, promoting autonomy and empowerment of female workers.

An example of someone who conquered space in this sector is Tatiana Fasolari, vice president of Fast Engenharia. After taking over the family business, the executive brought a new look to the company, focused on overlays (assembly of large temporary structures). “The fight to achieve representation in a male sector is not easy. The sector’s recent results are encouraging, but not enough, however we are still looking for more inclusion”, she conjectures.

The company doubled its staff of women, totaling 40 who have the same salary as men. “Our team in Chile is practically made up of women, including engineers, managers and architects. We always seek to give preference to women,” she says.

Focus on technical training

In the mining sector, Metso Outotec has a professional in the area of occupational safety, Franciely Santos, and a specialist in maintenance planning, Jessica Gomes, both with field experience, in contracts where the company assumes the operation and maintenance of the equipment. One of them is Mineração Morro do Ipê, which mobilizes a team of around 20 professionals in four daily shifts to complete primary crushing and screening at the iron mining company’s plant.

“In addition to training and daily conversations about safety, we try to observe the mood of the professionals who work on the project”, says Franciely. Emotional intelligence, more practiced by female professionals, also contributes to creating a better work environment. “Whoever is in the field, operating machines, cannot be distracted by other people’s problems. Men, in general, have more difficulty recognizing when they are affected in this way”, she adds.

In turn, ArcelorMittal reiterated the global goal of having at least 25% of women in leadership positions by 2030. The challenge is posed for all areas and, currently, of the approximately 14 thousand employees in Brazil, 17% of women occupy leadership positions in the long steel segment. In the flat steel segment, this number is at 16%, and in the corporate area it rose to 36%.

“We need more women in leadership positions to have new perspectives, other perspectives on decision-making and generate results under new visions. The transformation we set out to carry out in the organizational environment needs to have a positive impact on society”, says Jefferson De Paula, president of ArcelorMittal Brasil and CEO of ArcelorMittal Aços Longos LATAM and Mineração Brasil.


“Women’s Representation in Infrastructure: a reflection on the challenges of equal opportunities”. Date: March 28th at 5 pm.Location: Instituto de Engenharia – Av. Dr. Dante Pazzanese, 120 – Vila Mariana – São Paulo/SP

By: Santelmo Camilo