Media releases

South Deep recognises the valuable difference women make to its business

Westonaria, 11 August 2020: Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine recognises the outstanding contribution made by women in South Africa, the mining sector, and in particular, the contribution made by the 674 women employed at South Deep Mine.

The lack of female representation in the workplace is a global business issue across industries and geographies. Women in the South African mining industry face a range of challenges, which often prevent them from either choosing a career in mining or remaining in mining roles. In South Africa, women make up just 12% of the mining industry compared to 17% in Australia and 16% in Canada.

South Deep recognises the positive impact of a diverse and inclusive workforce on both business and financial performance, and is committed to establishing a gender representative workforce at all levels of the business. At present 23% of South Deep employees are women. These numbers highlight the progress the mine has made, but also the work that remains to be done, with a key focus on removing barriers that have traditionally made mining less appealing to women.

The Mine aims to advance a diverse workforce by:

  • Ensuring that all members of the leadership team are committed to an inclusive and diverse workplace.
  • Setting very clear targets to increase the level of female representation at all levels of leadership.
  • Ensuring that talent and performance management programmes promote the identification of high-potential women and offer them appropriate development opportunities.
  • Addressing systemic and cultural barriers that may impede gender equality throughout the business.
  • Fostering a safe space to report and address all forms of harassment.
  • Engaging and collaborating with all stakeholders to promote and support impactful gender equality initiatives.

At South Deep, women comprise 23% of the overall workforce. The percentage varies for different management levels: among executive management 33% are women; 6% at senior management; 19% at middle management; and 23% at junior management.

Says Martin Preece, Executive Vice President at Gold Fields: “Women play many critical roles in our lives, our society and in our work environments. This is also true at South Deep, where many women are ambassadors and role models to our people and in particular to other women who want to follow careers in mining.

“We believe that gender equality is key to a fair and trusting work environment that will strengthen organisational culture and ultimately improve business performance. It has been proven that societies and workplaces that are more inclusive are also more productive and competitive. In an equal environment, free of discrimination, everyone wins.

“As men, we have a very important role to play in ensuring that all workplaces are equitable environments free of any form of discrimination and harassment, where people of all genders can flourish and reach their full potential. By learning and understanding the issues surrounding gender equality, men can make a difference and support women.”

South Deep is deeply concerned by the escalation of violence against women and children and does not tolerate any behaviour of this nature as it is in direct contravention of the company’s values. The obligation of treating people with dignity and respect extends beyond the workplace and all South Deep employees are expected to support women and children.

“As a society, we have a lot of work to do in the space of gender equality. At South Deep, we will continue to ensure that ours is a culture of inclusivity and diversity, which recognises the value that women bring to our business,” concludes Preece.


Memory Johnstone
Mobile: +27 82 719 3081
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Taryn van Olden
Mobile: +27 79 527 6882
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Sven Lunsche
Tel: +27 11 562 9763
Mobile: +27 83 260 9279
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Notes to editors

About Gold Fields

Gold Fields is a globally diversified gold producer with nine operating mines in Australia, Peru, South Africa and West Africa (including the Asanko JV), as well as one project in Chile. We have total attributable annual gold-equivalent production of 2.2Moz, attributable gold-equivalent Mineral Reserves of 51.3Moz and Mineral Resources of 115.7Moz. Our shares are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and our American depositary shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Sponsor: J.P. Morgan Equities South Africa (Pty) Ltd