By MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE De Beers Group is to invest US$3 million into empowering women in its producer countries.
Targeted beneficiaries include women micro-entrepreneurs in Southern Africa and Canadian scholars studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Katie Fergusson, De Beers Head of Social Impact, said the company had already implemented a number of initiatives over the last 12 months as it worked towards these goals.
These include reviewing talent attraction and development processes, rolling out unconscious bias training, establishing a senior
management-led reciprocal mentoring programme and reviewing key policies and recruitment guidelines.
Last week, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of United Nations Women, announced the launch of our three-year partnership with UN Women in New York.
De Beers has worked with UN Women on the development of community programmes in Canada and Southern Africa.
These will be launched in the coming months.
“I am proud of how far we have already come and of the foundations that we have established to build real change upon,” Fergusson said.
She said with more than 90 percent of their consumers being women, De Beers has to make changes to stay relevant.
Only 24 percent of its workforce and 17 percent of its leaders are women.
De Beers operates in 28 countries. Mining takes place in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa.