Monday 3 April 2017

Celebrating Women

8 March 2017 was International Women’s Day, a time to pause and reflect on the role of women in society and in our workplace. 

At Golden Star we recognize the important role that women play in the workplace and we value the contribution that people from diverse backgrounds can make to productivity and competitiveness.

Within Golden Star, 12% of our employees are women, which is comparable with the gold mining sector internationally, and within our Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation project 25% of the farmers and workers are women!

Golden Star women at the Bogoso/Prestea mine

The most recent Ghanaian Census showed that girls continue to have lower access to education than boys. Despite this, we are proud that in our workplace women hold roles throughout the hierarchy and in a variety of disciplines - women work in trades, mining, management, and supervision and support services.

Promoting Diversity

We embrace diversity in cultures, backgrounds, gender and thinking. To enhance opportunities for women and to promote diversity, we:

Advertise jobs in accordance with local employment policies agreed with host communities
Report on diversity in our annual Corporate Responsibility Report
Provide family accommodation or subsidies for senior staff so that families can stay together despite the remote nature of our operations
Provide medical services and National Health Insurance Scheme coverage to all employees and eligible dependents for equal access to good health
Participate in forums and research on the empowerment of women in the mining sector

Gifty Bilson, Senior Training Officer

Workplace Inclusion

To ensure that we act in an inclusive way and all our workforce can be productive contributors we:

Provide cross cultural awareness training for senior staff
Support the Golden Star Women’s Club and its’ programs
Provide access to training and development on the basis of merit
Ensure that women have access to appropriate personal protective equipment, private changing areas, and can breast feed as necessary
Conduct harassment and discrimination training within the workforce
Require leadership to ascribe to our Code of Conduct and Ethics and provide a confidential reporting line to report on breaches
Ensure that maternity and paternity leave law is upheld
Ensure that mine clinics provide privacy for men and women and are equipped for the treatment of children

Empowering Women

We recognize that as members of society we can also contribute to empowerment by providing opportunities for female children to have improved access to education and development. We:

Celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child
Undertake education programs with Senior Secondary schools in our host communities
Provide educational subsidies to our employees’ eligible dependents to ensure that boy and girl children have equal access to school and education
Ensure that community education scholarships benefit girl and boy children
Provide school bus services to specific host communities enhancing access to education

Through the Golden Star Skills Training and Employability Program, we have also supported 250 female youth to obtain skills and equipment to start their own small business. Over half of the participants of GSSTEP have been women.  In addition, through the Golden Star Development Foundation we have supported the construction and outfitting of schools for our host communities.

Children at a school built by the Golden Star Development Foundation

Golden Star Ladies Club

The Golden Star Ladies Club was formed in 2010 with the objectives to:

Empower members to be advocates in their communities
Create a forum for sharing experiences and matters relating to the welfare of members
Unite female employees on issues affecting the interest of members
Encourage, promote and enhance the productivity of members
Educate members about their rights and responsibilities with respect to matters related to sexual harassment

The Golden Star Ladies Club hosts a number of important programs for women in our catchments, including a Breast Cancer Awareness Program which has brought free breast cancer screening to over 10,400 women and girls in the last three years and potentially saved as many as 269 lives.

Golden Star women at the Wassa mine

Golden Star Women: Our Stories

In celebration of the contribution of women to Golden Star’s success, below is a feature on just a few of our female team members.

Ernestina Gyawu, Ventilation Engineer and Underground Shift Boss (5 years with GSR)

“My experience on the mine has been positive – the attitudes and communication among the team have helped me to accomplish my tasks successfully. I work to mentor, motivate and inspire women to believe that they should not limit themselves but be confident to take up challenging tasks. I advocate that women should step out into roles that traditionally used to be only for men”.

Lovelis Esi Acquah, Auto Electrician (8 years with GSR)

“Growing up in a mine host community, I had the dream of working in the mines one day. This gave me the energy to overcome the challenges I faced due to my limited early education. Today, when I look at back, I am happy with what I have achieved.  I work among men of various ages and I approve my worth as a colleague among them. I am now a mentor for the girls in my community and I encourage them to work hard and to look beyond our traditional roles.  I am confident and happy to be working in the industry and encourage more women to join us”. 

Alberta Stevens and Abigail Akua Akyere (both 7 years with GSR)

Alberta and Abigail sharpen the drill bits for underground drill rigs. 

“We are happy to work in the mine because of our unique roles and we our proud of the quality of the work we do. Our male colleagues respect us and the community like to hear us talk about general mine activities. This goes on to encourage more ladies to look for higher ranking roles in the mines”. 

Rebecca Appiah, Community Relations Officer (7 years with GSR)

“I am happy to work in mining because I am a native of one of the catchment communities and I have become a mentor for the girls in these communities.
I love to inspire women by saying that, “Women should be focused and work harder and also know that we can do what the men can do””. 

Gladys Asare, Dispatch Officer

Gladys orders and receive items into the warehouse system. 

“I feel excited about my role and function in the mine. I have been challenged to meet some critical tasks during my three years with Golden Star. I use these as proof that women can be successful in the mining industry”. 

Belinda Cudjoe, Dispatch Officer

Belinda tracks machine performance.

“I find it interesting to work at the mine, because of the variety of tasks and knowledge that I am constantly exposed to. I have developed a passion for machines and engineering - it is great and interesting to work in the mining industry. I encourage all women to grow their skills and try to rise higher, because there are more opportunities out there for women now.” 

Esther Arhinful, Machine Inspector (12 years with GSR)

“I feel excited about my duties in the mine. My motivation stems from the opportunity to work on machines, which is unique for women in my town. Most often, my male colleagues respect me as a leader and a strong woman. I advocate for girls to go school, develop a passion for hard work and become responsible in life. Today I am happy - because of my schooling and hard work I am the backbone of the family”. 

Celestina Atsiagla, Environmental Officer (7 years with GSR)

“I am happy to be working to protect the environment and I feel respected by men at work and within my society. I have become a mentor to girls in the communities and I inspire women to seek opportunities that now exist for them.” 

Gifty Gandhi, Underground Shift Boss (5 years with GSR) (pictured on the left)

“On my normal shift, I supervise a crew of 14 men to help me achieve my shift goals. Working with my underground crew is fun for me and I have earned the respect of people on and outside the mine due to my role and responsibilities.
I urge all women out there to be strong and try as much as possible to rise up and hit the targets they have set for themselves.”

Aisha Feimoakib Gani, Mining Engineer (6 years with GSR)

“I aim at producing ore in a safe manner and in compliance to environmental regulations. This has been my goal since I joined GSR six years ago. I like the industry; because it has helped me to build good team working skills and good interpersonal relationships. 
I always say that that there is no segregation in our mine so ladies should rise up and compete with the men because we can equally do what men do. I am happy to be here and have had so many experiences that I am proud of.” 

Rosebella Agyei, Group Business Coordinator (3 years with GSR)

Rosebella champions strategies to improve business processes.

“Working in a male dominated area is fun because it has taught me valuable lessons such as how to approach stressful situations with ease. My motivation has been hard work and learning, whilst maintaining a strong sense of myself and my values in every situation. I motivate women to learn, believe in themselves and approach life with confidence”.

Augustina Yenzu, Stakeholder Engagement Officer (8 years with GSR)

“My interest includes inspiring girls to go to school and achieve greater heights as well as serving as a mentor for young girls to look up to. I really like working in the mine, because I spend time with people who are determined and disciplined to achieve their goals. Based on this, I am able to inspire women to be determined, disciplined and believe in themselves that they can do it with God on their side.”

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit