Ana says one of the biggest challenges that women in the mining sector face is the geographical nature of mining sites, which often require them to work in remote and isolated locations. This can result in significant separation from their families and communities, making work-life balance more difficult. Additionally, the traditionally male-dominated culture and biases within the industry can create barriers for women in terms of career advancement, equal opportunities, and recognition for their contributions. Addressing these challenges requires concerted efforts to improve work-life integration, provide support networks for women in mining, implement inclusive policies, and foster a culture that values and respects diversity.
In an attempt to create a positive impact on the sector as a whole, supporting women in the mining industry benefits more than just individual women. By promoting gender diversity and inclusivity, she and her team at Ana Gabriela Juarez tap into a wider pool of talent, skills, and perspectives, fostering innovation, creativity, and improved decision-making. She firmly believes that empowering women in mining leads to enhanced productivity, increased employee satisfaction, and a more positive work culture. As part of its initiatives at Women in Mining Central America, she is actively involved in empowering girls through educational programs—our kid’s mineralogist club, for example, encourages their interest in STEM and mining fields. Additionally, she is working on a storybook that aims to inspire and educate young readers about women in mining, promote gender equality, and break stereotypes. These initiatives contribute to building a stronger and more inclusive mining industry that thrives on diversity and unlocks the full potential of all its members.
Embracing opportunities for growth
For women looking to advance their careers in the mining industry, Ana’s advice is to embrace growth opportunities, be resilient, and network extensively. One must continuously seek out professional development programs, certifications, and educational opportunities to enhance one’s skills and knowledge. Further, she states that they should build a strong support network of mentors and allies who can guide and advocate for them. One must not be afraid to voice their ideas and opinions, as their unique perspective and contributions are invaluable. Women leaders must also remember to establish a work-life balance that supports their personal well-being and fosters professional growth. Lastly, one must stay persistent and believe in their abilities because they have the power to make a meaningful impact in the mining industry and pave the way for future generations of women in the field.
Ana loves to keep up an active lifestyle in her personal life and frequently works out or plays soccer with her kids or her team. Her first language is German, adding a unique cultural perspective to her experiences. Currently, her focus is not on reading, but rather on writing her first book for girls, titled The Adventures of Ana in the Mine,’ which explores exciting mining adventures and aims to inspire young readers. She is eagerly working on completing and publishing this book.
Ana states that over the years, there have been positive changes for women in the mining industry, although there is still progress to be made. One significant shift is the increased recognition of the value that women bring to the sector. More companies and organizations are actively working towards gender diversity and inclusion, acknowledging the importance of diverse perspectives and skills. Initiatives such as mentoring programs, networking platforms, and women-led organizations have emerged to support and empower women in mining. Moreover, there is a growing emphasis on creating safe and inclusive work environments, addressing gender biases, and promoting equal opportunities for career advancement. “While there is still work to be done, these advancements signify a positive shift towards a more equitable and inclusive mining industry for women,” affirms Ana.