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Burkina Faso’s New Miners Diversify its Workforce

In a male-dominated industry such as mining, where females continue to be under-represented, women like Tene Konate are taking up more challenging roles like driving a 72-tonne dump truck around the vast open pit at the Houndé gold mine in western Burkina Faso. Konate is one of 111 women at the mine who are trained for jobs like hauling rubble, blasting rocks, or driving heavy vehicles which are more traditionally done by men in West Africa. The 42-year-old single mother and her female colleagues are the beneficiaries of a global push by mining companies to bring more women into an industry that is lagging behind others in tackling gender imbalances. They remain firmly in the minority however, with women making up just 11 percent of the workforce at Houndé which is run by Canada’s Endeavour Mining.