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Our Gender Commitment

We are committed to the achievement of gender equality in the mining and minerals sector.

In the mining and minerals space, achieving gender equality means tackling the gender norms and power dynamics that have led to the historic exclusion of women from sharing equally in both decision-making and access to benefits. In the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector, women make up an estimated 30% of workers globally yet tend to hold only the lowest-paid jobs and are significantly under-represented in positions of power and decision-making.

Gender inequality has significant adverse impacts. At the global scale, the gender pay gap is thought to be restricting our global wealth potential by trillions of dollars. At a company level, lack of diversity – including gender diversity – stifles creativity, innovation and profit. At a social level, gender inequality constraints both individual wellbeing – for all genders – and national development. Against this backdrop, we aim to contribute to a better understanding of gender dynamics in mineral supply chains, helping our clients to identify and address these challenges in their specific contexts.

Our work is gender-sensitive as a matter of course

One of the biggest challenges to achieving gender equality in mineral supply chains, particularly in the ASM sector, is a lack of reliable data on the extent and implications of women’s involvement. In this context, knowledge generation on the sector is an important part of what we do, and our research is gender-sensitive as standard. Our collection of research tools and methodologies ensures that the data we collect is disaggregated by gender to allow us and our clients to make well-founded, data-driven decisions on engagement with the minerals sector. In 2017, for example, our collection of gender-disaggregated baseline data on the Ugandan Development Minerals sector allowed us to showcase the important role played by women, who consist of up to 70% of its labour force for some minerals. This kind of information provides a foundation for policy and programming that takes into account the different roles played by women and men in ASM, and values both equally.

On the policy and programming side, we recognise that interventions can be harmful if gender dynamics are not taken into account. Even development-oriented policy such as the current drive for formalisation of ASM can prove counter-effective if gendered power dynamics are not considered from the beginning, and can unintentionally exacerbate existing power inequalities. In light of this, we strive to incorporate a gender perspective into our projects from design to implementation, and encourage our clients to do the same.

We work closely with experienced Associates and Local Partners on our projects. This allows for knowledge-sharing within our project teams, including research team trainings in how gender dynamics can and should be handled in an ASM context. We strive, where possible, to achieve gender diversity on our project teams, allowing us to conduct sometimes sensitive research with both women and men in the field.

Our gender expertise is rooted in our decade of experience

As well as incorporating an awareness of gender issues into our projects as standard, we also conduct gender-specific research and analysis and develop gender-specific policy recommendations for our clients.

  • We analysed the specific impacts of the global pandemic on women in ASM, using data we collected as part of the Delve COVID-19 Impact Reporting Initiative in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Mozambique (July 2020). We found that, despite being disproportionately affected by job loss – due in part to national policies that did not account for their more ‘peripheral’ roles – ASM remained an important source of income for women throughout the pandemic.
  • We developed practical recommendations for how the Kimberley Process (KP) can promote gender equality through its work at both a global policy level and at a national policy level in Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire (2018). At a global level, we identified the key areas for improvement in terms of achieving gender equality in the KP and made targeted recommendations as priority areas of focus for the KP, including the explicit promotion of gender equality and inclusion across its institutions and policies, and the collection of gender-disaggregated data. At the national level, we identified the key barriers to gender equality in artisanal diamond mining in Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire, including lack of access to finance and land, sexual and gender-based violence and cultural barriers, and presented potential areas for intervention by the KP.

If you have any questions about our work on gender, please contact our Diversity & Inclusion champions, Rosanna Tufo and Lucie Goulet, at Rosanna.tufo[at]levinsources.com and lucie.goulet[at]levinsources.com.

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Our team reflects our commitment to gender equality and increasing women’s representation in the extractives sector

Levin Sources was founded by a woman, Estelle Levin-Nally, and employs a team who are committed to gender equality across the extractives sector. To this end, we recognise the importance of engaging all genders in discussions and initiatives that promote the participation of women and other historically marginalised groups in minerals sector decision-making.

Finally our Board consists of an equal number of men and women – meet our Board here.

Meet Our Experts

We are signatories to the OECD-WRM Gender Statement

We are signatories to the Women’s Rights and Mining (WRM)-OECD Gender Statement. The statement, comprising 13 commitments for promoting gender equality in mineral supply chains, addresses the important issues of women’s rights and participation in a historically male-dominated sector. Why not join us? For more information, or if you’d like to sign, contact WRM or get in touch at hello@levinsources.com.

Our public interest work helps promote gender equality in our sector

As a social venture, Levin Sources is committed to delivering positive and sustainable social outcomes in the minerals sector. As such, we invest in several public interest projects, a number of which are motivated by our drive for achieving gender equality in our sector.

Our Founder, Estelle Levin-Nally, was an Ethical Sourcing Ambassador for the Women’s Jewellery Association, UK, as well as being a member of International Women in Mining (iWIM). Estelle and Holger Grundel, our Managing Director, are mentors in iWiM’s 2020 Mentorship program, for whom we also conducted their first carbon footprint report, as part of our voluntary public interest work together with ESG Data and IWiM.

Estelle Levin-Nally has also been named as one of “100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining” 2020 by Women In Mining (WIM UK). Her selection recognises her role as a sustainability entrepreneur leading societal change through her commitment to gender equity in the industry.

We invest in several public interest projects, a number of which are motivated by our drive for achieving gender equality in our sector

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