RECOGNITION and performance in the mining industry should not come at the cost of women's femininity, deputy minister of mines and energy, Kornelia Shilunga said on Friday.
She was speaking at the Namibia Diamond Trading Company's (NDTC) International Women's Day event in Windhoek.
"Being in one of the most male dominated industries in the world should not deter our performance as women, neither should it also make us men. I have seen some geologists, when you look at them they are women but they act like men, why are you behaving like men?" Shilunga questioned, referring to the extractive sector.
The deputy minister said she also faces struggles as a woman in the mines and energy industry.
"Gender [does] not even need to enter your mind when you are doing your job," Shilunga added, further outlining that the industry's attire and equipment does not always make provision for women.
"A challenge women face in every industry is raising children, being a wife and being a mother, all while achieving career goals within a corporate structure," she said.
The deputy minister also pointed out that it is important for women to be in this industry because they have a unique role to play in helping Namibia to sustain a strong and modern mining industry.
She praised the increase in female presence in the industry.