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Gender barriers in Chilean mining: a strategic management

Paulina Salinas (School of Journalism/Faculty of Humanities, Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile)
Gianni Romaní (Entrepreneurship and SMEs Centre/Faculty of Economics and Administration, Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile)

Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración

ISSN: 1012-8255

Article publication date: 27 May 2014




Given Chile's high projected deficit of skilled labor in its mining industry, the purpose of this paper is to explore the gender barriers present that hinder women from entering the sector.


To do this, a descriptive and interpretative study was undertaken and in‐depth interviews were conducted with 70 male and female workers belonging to the operating areas in the mining companies located in northern Chile. The data were transcribed and analyzed through a qualitative approach using discourse analysis by thematic categories.


The results show that gender barriers are related to: self‐discrimination of workers themselves, family demands, and male dominance in the field.


These results are relevant for strategic planning in the mining industry. They allow us to redirect policies to incorporate women in the sector in order to counteract the aforementioned deficits. The practical implications of this study for the mining sector in general include the incorporation of, for male employees, awareness workshops focussing on the importance of the inclusion of women in mining and aspects that favor this process and, for female employees, leadership and empowerment workshops. These initiatives will help to generate a more satisfying work environment that promotes better human resource management and productivity of the sector.



This study is financed by Fondecyt (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development) Project No. 1120026.


Salinas, P. and Romaní, G. (2014), "Gender barriers in Chilean mining: a strategic management", Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 92-107.



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