A number of women are occupying key positions especially in the engineering field by large scale mining companies
operating in the Cordilleras. Fay Apil, the Regional Director of Mines and Geoscience Bureau-Cordillera (MGB-CAR), revealed that a remarkable number of women have ascended to chief geologist positions. “Most of the chief
geologists are women,a profound shift in the landscape of geology and mining,” Apil said, emphasizing the bureau’s
commitment to equal opportunities for both genders.

‘It heralded a new era of gender inclusivity and empowerment within the local mining industry,’ pointed Apil, whose agency recently hosted a forum dubbed Cordillera Minera Forum 2024, marking the culmination of Women’s Month
with its theme “Mga kababaihang pinatutunayan ang kakayahan sa larangan ng heolohiya at pagmimina.” Apil reported that out of the 728 women employed in the mining sector across the region, majority are working in the large-scale mining companies, many of whom hold office-based roles.

This statistic challenges stereotypes and underscores the increasing presence of women in traditionally male dominated industries. This paradigm shift not only defies convention but also underscores the unwavering
commitment of MGB CAR to foster equal opportunities for all genders, setting a resounding precedent for the sector at large. Throughout the forum, key insights from distinguished guests such as lawyer Eduardo Aratas, Legal Division Manager of Philex Mines, and lawyer Desiree Lud-ayen, Attorney III, MGB-CAR, further elucidated the landscape of gender equality in local mining industry.

Aratas highlighted the rich diversity among women employees and dispelled any notion of disparity in their field of work, affirming unequivocally that women undertake the same roles and responsibilities as their male counterparts. Similarly, Lud-ayen emphasized “Women are not deprived of the opportunities to hold key positions at the MGB-CAR, likewise when it comes to hiring, we promote equal opportunities for every male and female applicant.” Moreover, the forum provided a platform for distinguished professionals such as Engr. Marie D. Dolipas, Engr. Danna Kitz D. Pomeg, and Engr. Rowena Blanco who all shared their firsthand experiences.

In their testimonies, they highlighted the absence of sexual harassment complaints and the equal distribution of opportunities and responsibilities among men and women within their respective workplaces. “Sa Philex po, even though na mga kababaihan po kami, may respeto po sila..may gauge po yung kanilang sinasabi,” Engr. Blanco said.
The forum also showcased initiatives undertaken by various mining companies to promote gender diversity and inclusivity, including mentorship programs and leadership development opportunities tailored specifically for women in the industry.

In a panel discussion led by renowned geologists and mining experts, participants delved into the importance
of nurturing a culture of respect and equality in workplaces, emphasizing the role of both men and women in championing diversity and fostering an inclusive environment. The Cordillera Minera Forum 2024 transcended mere rhetoric, serving as a catalyst for tangible action and meaningful change.

It fostered an environment where voices were heard, perspectives were shared, and collaboration flourished. Reflected on the invaluable contributions of women in geology and mining, it becomes increasingly evident that gender equality isn’t just a lofty aspiration—it’s an imperative for progress and prosperity. The forum aims to foster a supportive environment that empowers women to thrive and succeed in geology and mining and to break down barriers, and pave the way for a future where the profession knows no gender.

Irish Beatrix A. Montano/UB-Intern

Amianan Balita Ngayon