Ford Authority

Ford, Ford Fund Launch Responsible Mining Program For Women In Congo

As governments from around the world and automakers like Ford continue to transition toward all-electric vehicles, demand for batteries and the minerals used to make them will continue to rise. Private companies are already stepping up to build more battery recycling plants, but another concern is how to mine these minerals in an environmentally sustainable way. Ford was the first automaker to support responsible mining, and now, the automaker and its philopatric arm – Ford Fund – have launched a pilot responsible mining program in Congo that aims to give women equal access to job opportunities in the industry.

“This program will help minimize poverty of women in the cobalt supply chain and address one of the root causes of child labor,” said Sue Slaughter, purchasing material cost and supply chain sustainability director. “Built with feedback from women in the DRC, this is a positive step in developing the skills and capabilities of women in the region, helping them compete fairly, and ultimately, supporting future generations of women who aspire to have their own businesses. The pilot project is an example of how the auto industry can improve mineral supply chains, empower women, and protect the rights of the most vulnerable.”

The Promoting the Empowerment of Women in Copper and Cobalt Mineral Supply Chains program provides training in a variety of areas including business management, mining innovation, leadership, and financing. Additionally, the program tracks private programs and future public policy that could potentially impact womens’ roles in the cobalt and Artisanal Small Mines supply chains.

Congo is one of the world’s leading producers of cobalt, annually exporting around 70 percent of the total supply of the mineral. However, Artisanal and Small Mines – which provide around 14 percent of that cobalt – have historically been associated with child labor. Ford recently implemented its new Supplier Code of Conduct and signed the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Global Compact’s Action Pledge for the Elimination of Child Labor, which aims to eliminate the practice worldwide by 2025.

“As the first major U.S. automaker to sign the pledge, Ford is taking this opportunity to show leadership within the industry to eliminate child labor not just in our business, but also in our supply chain,” said Mary Wroten, director of global sustainability and ESG. “By holding our suppliers and partners to the same high standards, we can work towards building a better world.”

We’ll have more on Ford and Ford Fund’s philopatric efforts soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.


  1. Hendrik Joseph Haan

    Great idea, Ford! Wish I would have thought of that! Replace children with women, truly in the Woke World. Isn’t mining one of the most dangerous occupations, especially in the sub-Saharan African nations? This must have been thought out very carefully!

    1. Bill

      Building Back Better under the Great Reset! As always with the left, if you can’t see it, it’s not happening.

    2. Mike says..

      So to put your words in context….. you sound like a sexist, self absorbed out of touch white male. Women everywhere are finally getting fair, decent and transparent treatment in all levels of society…. well, maybe not in your little world. Good on FORD for taking a corporate stand on old abuses and daring to do better!


Leave a comment