Speaker 0 00:00:00 But I also think the issue of gender based violence transcends beyond the mind gates. So while the minds can mechanically do the right things within our premises, because gender based violence is so entrenched in our culture, in our communities, it's going to be important that we show good corporate citizenship, and we extend what we do to outside our gates as well.
Speaker 2 00:00:28 Hi, I'm Rochelle beta and welcome to deep insights. In this episode, our multimedia journalist Lang chat to NOLA the president of SMA about sustainable mining, effective leadership and health and safety and mining. Let's join the discussion.
Speaker 3 00:00:48 Hello, and welcome to deep insights. My name is GUI and thank you for tuning in. We are hearing the end of women's month in South Africa. And my guest today really embodies the multifaceted roles that a woman can play. She was born in Beal in boomerang of province and raised in Soweto. These are the two very significant mining landscapes in South Africa. In addition to her bachelor degree in mining engineering, she holds an honors and master's degree in technology management from the university of Pretoria. She also presented her master's thesis at the pigment conference in Silicon valley, United States, California. She is a golden key honor member and she's on the 2022 male and guardian 200 young south Africans list cohorts. She is currently a technical services manager at to gallery resources limited and has led several open cost minds in the group. Ladies and gentlemen helped me welcome the first woman president of the south African co managers association, beaming Jim in the south African mining industry. No welcome. And thank you for joining us today.
Speaker 0 00:02:03 Oh, thank you so much for the invitation. Thank you. Were thank you for honoring me as suppose in this women's month. And I look forward to the, to the interview
Speaker 3 00:02:12 You were born in Beal yeah. Raised in Soweto. Yes. Briefly. Tell us about your background, your upbringing, and of growing up in these two very significant places, shaped your interest in mining.
Speaker 0 00:02:27 Sure. Yeah. So better is a small town in Ang, um, surrounded by coal mines in the area. So I was born there. So you kind of get a feel of the mining landscape. You know, your neighbors husband works in the mines and the father, your friend's father's work in the minds. However, I didn't spend a lot of time there. I grew up in Soweto and for me, Soweto did not necessarily shape my interest in mining, but I think what I was exposed to in Soweto, uh, was served me in that I became a better person in, in mining. So as an example, Soweto is a melting pot of different cultures and languages and how people decide to live their lives and going into the industry. I am proud to say, I speak nine of the 11 official languages. Not very good at them. <laugh> um, but I, I can communicate with someone in a way that they feel they're seen, they're heard they're respected.
Speaker 0 00:03:23 So when I went into mining, I didn't have to learn for another law because I could communicate with anyone in their language. Uh, things are way makes you resilient. It makes you agile, you know, because you growing up in a, in a city, uh, very busy city. So it also makes you quite agile. Um, I think there's a lot of infrastructure and development and, uh, things for the youth to do, which I feel, you know, places like Batal and small rural town like Batal could, could gain a lot from, um, I think you, you also get street smart growing up in, in Soweto. Uh, you can, you can smell much Asha from a distance <laugh>. So that kind of background helps you and builds you to become a more elite, better smarter person. So when I went into mining, I feel like all those characteristics served me, but I have been reflecting a lot about my upbringing.
Speaker 0 00:04:13 And Betterly more recently, um, if you, if you go back there, the town is still very, not rural in a sense, but I feel there's still a lot of development that can go into it. And I feel it ties in with my purpose as, as, as a, as a professional in mining to say, how can we as corporate citizens give back to the towns that are, you know, serve us. They are the labor inputs to the minds. So I have been reflecting about what we can do in small rural areas, like Batali, who are a key part of the mining. Yeah. The mining industry. Mm-hmm
Speaker 3 00:04:45 <affirmative>, let's now go to Soreto. Um, I watched you at a, a call seminar about a few months ago. And you spoke about how you were raised by your grandmother in Soreto. Yes. What are some of the key and very significant lessons that she's
Speaker 0 00:05:01 Taught you? Sure. Autonomy. I think that's the key one. My grandmother was forward for her time. Um, she, she always brought it back to me. So if you wanted to do something, she would communicate with you about your decision and the impact of that decision. Um, so she, she, she was, yeah, she was ahead of her time in terms of how she raised me. I'm a lot more progressive, um, because of how she raised me, not a very strong traditionalist upbringing. It's one way I had autonomy to do what I wanted. Obviously we spoke about the, the consequences of what I wanted. And I think when you're given that freedom, it also, it actually holds you, it, it, yeah, you self correct. Um, and you self regulate a lot more you self accountable and you're self accountable as well. Um, and, and she taught me to be open minded, Hey, to, to be open minded to how people were living their lives and to be welcome to that and to be open to that, I think that has also served me quite a lot, but she also had a sense of humility about it. And when you work in mining, ego does not serve you. Um, it's, you, you go into places where you're not the expert in, in the field, but because you bring humility to the conversation and you're willing to learn and, and, and to try out new things, um, that, that quite serves you. So she's been an incredible, um, role model in my life. And I'm, I'm grateful for that upbringing. I don't think I would've gotten the, the same kind of upbringing being raised, uh, in another day. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:06:26 It's so amazing how our parents or grandparents or guardians have that spirit to instill values that we will need later on in life.
Speaker 0 00:06:36 It's incredible. It's incredible. And we can only hope we do the same thing for, you know, for our kids and teach them the same, the same kind of lessons. Yeah,
Speaker 3 00:06:44 Absolutely. Let's rewind to 15 years ago. Okay. Fresh out of varsity, you joined Cecil mining as, as a P I T. And how were you received? And do you see the difference in the reception, a woman between then and now? Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:07:01 The concept of women in mining 15 years ago were still failing new. I think when I, I joined SASO mining, they had just got in their first group of 50 women. So there was a lot of readiness that needed to come with it. And that's what we've been working on in the last 15 years. Things like change houses for women, you know, not having sufficient change houses, not having enough evolution, facilities, evolution, facilities, underground were, were a challenge. Uh, the PO personal protective equipment, our PPE, the overalls we wear, which were designed for, for men in mind, um, the, the policies, uh, the companies now needed to start thinking about, uh, maternity policies and gender based violence policies. So that work only started happening when there were already women in industry. And, and that's, that actually tells you why it's important to have women for advocacy, for, um, being input to policy changes.
Speaker 0 00:07:58 Um, so it was still very fresh when I joined 15 years ago. I think the women that are coming into industry now, things have improved quite a lot because the work has been happening over the last. And it's not just in my 15 years, but I think even the women that came before us over the years, over the years, that, um, we there's been changes in policies, there's gender based violence policies, there's sexual harassment policies. Um, there's enablement in terms of hotlines for reporting incidents, there's personal development, growth, there's mentorship, career mentorship, and coaching for young, for young professionals coming into the industry. So a lot more work has been done to make the industry more, an enabling environment for women coming in, enabling an inclusive environment. You're right. Yeah. Mm-hmm
Speaker 3 00:08:46 <affirmative> now let's talk about leadership, your Carita accolades seem to be leading more towards the leadership side. Yeah. Yeah. Tell us about your current role at Tang resources. Um, what does a technical services manage you and what attracted you to the organization?
Speaker 0 00:09:04 So I, I had spent, um, close to 10 years at Cecil mining, incredible company. Uh, a lot of personal development growth, a lot of career growth that happened, um, while I was at SASO mining, um, within Sasso mining, I had been in, in, in, in technical roles where I was a minor chef boss, mine oversee, and they also had a program on Lin six Sigma black belt. And I joined the program and I trained as a Lin six Sigma backpack. So let's say I'm a impressive <laugh>. Um, but yeah, it's business for improvement principles and looking at a business as a, as a whole, and not just your small, um, your small area that you're responsible for. Um, and, and, but Cecil mining is also only underground coal mines. And I had this yearning to be a holistic well-rounded mining engineer, and I wanted to get open cast experience.
Speaker 0 00:09:57 And at that stage, uh, Anglo American had a number. It, it used to be Anglo American had a number of operations in the wit bank area. Um, and through my involvement at SMA, I had started talking to people at Anglo American and other open cast mining. Um, and that's the power of, of networking here. Absolutely. Um, and I had an interest in learning, uh, open cast mining, and, and what I loved about their minds is that they, they brought all the various challenges of what it takes to run an open cast, mind, you know, spontaneous combustion challenges and, uh, water management. So all of those things are skills that you want to learn as a mining engineer, how you navigate those kind of challenges, um, and still remain productive. Um, one of the things that also attracted me to, to the organization is they had quite a fair amount of women representation.
Speaker 0 00:10:45 I remember I was in my office in my previous company when the announcement of their first female GM came. And I was like, you know, so those things matter to companies. And I don't think they really understand how much it matters when we start seeing ourselves in, in their senior leadership structures. Um, and, and one of the colleagues we had at SMA who was, uh, a senior leader in, within Tue, um, when we used to have our SMA meetings, you would always enforce that we have them at the community at the local community, because it helps the community to, to develop its its income stream for the community. So we would host meetings in office as an example, and all of that, that, that makes you feel like you're part of a bigger impact to society as well. Um, so when I joined the company, I was, I was quite, I was quite happy, uh, that I get to experience open cast mining, learn from the challenges that they had and see what I can do to, to be of benefit to, to that.
Speaker 0 00:11:43 And, and yeah, I, I I've, I've loved my time there. So a technical services manager, uh, let's call it the super superheroes of, of mining. Okay. Because you get the mining engineers and we normally like to stay in our technical fields, which is minor show force. You run a pit, but it takes a lot to run a coal mine. Yeah. And there's the design aspects of it. Um, and there's the assurance aspect of it. Not just running, just take out coal. Yeah. That's not how it works. Someone needs to design it. Someone needs to make sure that everything is set up correctly. You can run it safely, there's compliance to the plan. And then you come back and do the assurance to make sure. And we, you know, rectify the path if we are not in the right path. And that's what technical services does.
Speaker 0 00:12:26 Okay. So I currently have eight official departments and a few other kids <laugh>. Yeah. Um, but that would be your rock engineering, your geology survey, business improvement. So your, your industrial engineers, mining engineers, which do the short term medium term and the long term planning of a mine, um, they do the scheduling of where the panels will be. Mm-hmm <affirmative> will be set up ventilation, occupational hygiene and environment, the underground safety environment. So to, to become a holistic leader in mining and that's general manager, or even CEO, you need to understand the total broadness of what it takes to, to run a mind. It can't just be who taking at coal. You need to understand what are the environmental considerations, what applications and permits you need for specific things. So my experience in technical services has allowed me to understand the broader aspects of what it takes to, to run a successful, a successful mine.
Speaker 0 00:13:26 And if you look at our, our company and our, my, my specific mine now, it's been one of the most productive in the country. We always have millionaire sections. Yes. Year after year, very consistent in their, in their, um, in their output and the productivity. And it takes a lot to design for, for that kind of, of, of place where it's very high performance. So I think I've, I've learned quite a lot in the last three, four years as well. Um, how do you really design for, for success while you balancing everything else? You're making sure that you comply to safety standards, comply to environmental occupational hygiene standards.
Speaker 3 00:14:04 So your role is, is looks more at a holistic approach of the entire mining operation.
Speaker 0 00:14:11 Yes. And an integrator, a lot of stakeholder engagements with the outside world at DM, R E the department of water affairs, um, you know, environmental regulators. So it's, it's, it's quite broad in itself in that it goes beyond the mine gates, it's all the other stuff that you need to do to run a successful mind, you know?
Speaker 3 00:14:31 Absolutely. Let's talk about SMA the south African co managers association. You're the first woman to hold this presidential position. Yeah. Uh, in the organization's 44 years of, of existence. How did you come? How did that come about actually, and, and, and elaborate on the journey towards you being in this position? Sure.
Speaker 0 00:14:57 So I, I joined SMA in 2013, if I'm correct. And my then general manager Hart fund universities in was the incoming president. So he made sure that all his young graduates were part of SMA. And I remember attending the very first meeting. It was his inauguration at the Johannesburg country club. And when I got there, it was such a wealth of experience and expertise and wisdom from all the SMA members. You know, people I had looked up to in industry, uh, who welcome ACE as an example, who interviewed me for my Pery, they were in an association where they could learn from each other, where they could leverage on their knowledge and, and, and expertise for the improvement of the total industry. So already from that first meeting, I was hooked, you know, and I got to meet, you know, people I was at university with, which I hadn't see since we graduated.
Speaker 0 00:15:51 So you also, you know, formed sisterhood and, and, and, and camaraderie because you now can always pick up a call and say, Hey, I'm struggling with this. Can you help me? And that's the power and the strategy of SMA it is that we are a group of professional mining engineers or managers in office, because we don't necessarily have to be a mining engineer by the manager and office who learn from each other. So best practice sharing, um, learning from incidents, learning from, you know, high performance cultures, what we can implement, um, and, and, and keeping all the new knowledge. And what's coming out in industry at the helm and access to our members. So it brings that. So when I joined in, in 2013, um, I just wanted to learn and I wanted to serve, and it's been a journey of serving. It's been a journey of how best can you do this?
Speaker 0 00:16:44 How best can I improve this? Um, so while it was not intentional that I wanted to be president by serving, I think that that comes across. You say, this person who wants to serve the industry as a whole. Um, so in 2015, I became the, I don't know if I was the first vice chairperson, but I became the vice chairperson of the Northern region, which is all the Ang minds. Okay. Uh, and being a chairperson means you presentations meetings that you have, you bring subject matter experts. So you need to stay on top of what's happening in your industry and ensure that you bring that knowledge across to the members, the latest incidents that have happened, what can we learn from these incidents? What should the members as they leave the meeting take away from, from this? So I was in the vice chairperson role for two years, and then Jefferson enroll for two years.
Speaker 0 00:17:33 And even then it was just constantly serving the industry, putting my hand up, how can I get more involved in, um, policy making in regulations in mind, oversee certificates of competency in mind managers, uh, certificate of competency, because what SMA does is that it also shapes the industry in which we, we work in. Uh, and that's, that's the power of it. We've got very experienced council members. Who've been leaders in industry, and it's about how do we shape the industry for safety of our employees for professional development of our, uh, managers coming into, coming into office or managers in office. Um, and when I became president, wow, it was <laugh> incredible moment. Incredible moment. Uh, it's, it's SMA has got such a strong line of precedents, 44, 43 years, or, you know, very senior people that have led successful companies that have been looking up to all my careers.
Speaker 0 00:18:33 So to join the ranks of those incredible individuals, to be trusted with that responsibility to say, you know, are now at the helm of taking the industry forward, you responsible for you and your council are responsible to, to address what are the burning platforms of industry right now, and how you navigate your year as the president, and as a council honorable it's, it's incredibly honorable. And one of the biggest changes that we've done in this year is we've brought in a strategic trust that talks to ESG and sustainability because the manager and office is not just operational now. Sure. The environmental factors and environmental protection that comes with being a manager in office, there are social issues that, that affects the manager and office, and is got a bigger influence on shaping what's happening in, in, in society. So it's, I, and I'm quite proud that this is something that we've brought, because it's now a burning platform, um, in industry to say, how do we, as managers and office become champions and advocates for society and, and the environment, and not just reminding coal, you know, so yeah, <inaudible> is incredible organization. And I think later we'll talk about what we do in terms of safety for our employees, but yeah,
Speaker 3 00:19:50 Well, that's so impressive. And, and as, and as I've said, it's so honorable for you to be trusted with such a role, um, for you to be able to stand on shoulders of mining pioneers in South Africa. Yeah. Yeah. That's absolutely amazing. How important is it that not only should we celebrate women in mining, but for their occupation, but also for, for their occupation in leadership positions, what do they bring to their table?
Speaker 0 00:20:17 That's a great question. Uh, it's an interesting question in how you phrase, phrase it about what do they bring to the table because there's such incredible women leaders in industry. Um, Dr. NABA said that you interviewed a couple of weeks ago, Bumi at, at Kumba, um, Nolita, uh, I'm, I'm forgetting Natasha is an example. And, and even in companies where I've worked with, there's been create female leaders. So, and, and it's never a question about them being a woman, but it's about what do they bring from a leadership perspective? So the question is what do leaders bring to the table? But with that said, and I think for me, that's a call to action to say, we need to normalize more women leaders. So it's not about the women leaders, it's just about leadership, but I know that that's in a romantic ideal world, but it's important that we celebrate women because it forms as a example and as a something for us to look up to.
Speaker 0 00:21:17 I remember a couple of years ago when I was being interviewed for my current role, they asked me, so where do you see yourself in the future? And I said, straight to the top, because back then there were no examples that I can, I can voice today. And I wanted to be that example. I wanted people to open an integrated report one day and see my face in one of those integrated reports. And now I get to live that I get to open the Kuba integrated report. I'm like, you know, you see yourself, I see myself, it's it's representation. So it, we celebrate them so that people know that you can strive. You can thrive in, in the mining industry. There's examples of that. You can see yourself in these women, they are mothers, they are incredible leaders. Um, you see yourself in their leadership journeys and, and the challenges that they faced.
Speaker 0 00:22:06 So it's important that we still get to celebrate women's month and we celebrate them. But I do hope in the future that it'll be so normal. We normalize having women in mining and we normalize having women leaders that it stops being. And yeah, first women, the first women only woman. Yeah. And I think it was Dr. Numbers so that it was saying, we need to hold ourself accountable to pulling other women, um, to, to come up their ranks as well. So that's a purpose, Hey, that's a, that's a guiding principle to say, how do we bring more women? So it stops being about the gender, but starts being about just leadership because you have to admit in their own, right. They've done incredible things for that. They've earned it, earned it, they've earned it. And yet you still see the woman before we see the, the, the work they've done, you know, and the work they've done should speak for itself, but, but let's bring more women in. Uh, and, and then it stops being an issue. Hey, wow.
Speaker 3 00:23:00 I love that. Yeah. I love it. And I totally agree with it. So off a, we made reference to Cheryl Sanders's book lean in. Yeah. So in the book, Cheryl argues that internal obstacles, that's the imposter syndrome. Yeah. The voice that tells you, you're not enough. You can't do this yet. You're not yet there. You can't, you can't get there that, that little voice, she says that, um, this voice is the one that holds women back from pushing limits. Yeah. Yeah. Do you agree with this? And if so, how important is self-belief sure
Speaker 0 00:23:39 I do. I think we, we all at some level struggle with, with confidence issues and certain things like you wanted me to be on video now. And I was like, yeah, it was a struggle. It was a struggle to get me here. I have to admit. Yeah. So Sharon is, is such an incredible person. You, a COO of Facebook and Facebook from when it was like a social media platform to Facebook met at the conglomerate company. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, and I look up to her and her book is such an incredible book and a call to action for us women, uh, to strive to be at the top of our careers. And why she says it's important is so that we can create critical mass so that we can be a representation so that we can start advocating and changing policies, um, and changing practices and enabling and creating an enabling environment for women to thrive.
Speaker 0 00:24:32 So it's a call to action. It's a bigger purpose as well. It's a call to action. So each time I struggle with confidence or I see other women struggling with confidence, like, yeah, we are there's work to be done. We need to fill up this tables. We need to fill up roles. We need to fill up so that we can create environment for war, more women to come into the industry. But I, I think with that, confidence is always gonna be a big issue, um, for women because the world, you know, the internal barriers like self-confidence and imposter syndrome, um, influenced by the external barriers as well. Sure. Gender stereotypes, our home structures, um, you know, policies, policies, their work environment. So while these are changing, there's also an element of doing the inner work and the self work, you know, the personal, uh, development.
Speaker 0 00:25:24 And I think in the first few years of your career, um, if you focus on gaining the depth and the breadth and the expertise, then you know, you've tick the technical box. Yeah, yeah. You know, and you continuously working on your leadership skills, through coaching, mentoring, uh, communication skills, self reflection, then you tick the leadership box and the next best thing, and then you tick it. So, you know, you are whole, when you enter any room that you go into, that gives a lot of confidence. It gives you a lot of confidence. So for me, you can't question me on my technical expertise, so, and enter a room already. That's one thing that I know that I can, I can hold a conversation with you. So it's important that we work on gaining the expertise so that we have the confidence to talk about certain things. And that takes, that takes time. That takes mentoring, that takes coaching, but it's important that you do the work. Um, what else did I wanna say in this?
Speaker 3 00:26:21 So, so are you saying that getting confidence for you to have confidence, you need to do
Speaker 0 00:26:28 The work, you need to do the work <laugh> put in the work and you learn as you do, you do credit to have confidence. That's the thing I wanted to say. It's about putting up your hand as well. I think a lot of times we wait until we are ready to, to take on certain roles and to take on certain projects. Yeah. But a lot of it is learning as you are doing it. Go, mm-hmm, <affirmative> learn as you go. So in, in, on the job, uh, failing and, and winning and learning, you know, so it's also important that as young women who put our hands up for certain projects and initiatives, and if you throw yourself in there, throw yourself in the, uh, my, my, my, my family always uses this, this analogy of, in which means if you, you wanna sell livestock at the market, whether it's radio or skinny, you might find it. You might find a buyer, but you have to go to the market and sell it and sell it. If you don't go to the market, you'll never know. Hey, so you always like, just, just go there and you'll see,
Speaker 0 00:27:28 It can only be turned back at the market, but if it never leaves the farm to go to the market, you might never, you might never sell it. And, and it's such an incredible one. Cause each time I feel like I can't do this, I can't do this. I'm like, Hey, I love that. Go to the market. Yeah. So I think as, as my call to action, it's for women to raise their hands, serve, serve, put in the hours, put in the, the, the tears at the end of the day, that builds your confidence. Yeah. That builds your expertise and your skills and your leadership and your communication skills. So that, it's, it's one less thing you need to worry about when you start entering these bigger rooms and these bigger boardrooms, because you're like, Hey, I've done this I've I can, I can hold a conversation in this.
Speaker 3 00:28:12 I think another important thing that we, we need to mention about service is that sometimes we expect results from the place that we are serving in and results will not always come from that place. So I think it's important for women to remember that wherever you serve may not be a place of results. Oh yeah. Just put in the work, just credit, credit credit, an opportunity will come elsewhere where you will get to showcase what you've been building on.
Speaker 0 00:28:40 I, I absolutely love that. And <laugh> one of my favorite books talks about it. Your career, not being a letter, but being a jungle gym. Yeah. And the letter, you know, letters are very limiting. You're only looking up at the, but of the person that's ahead of you and are they gonna move <laugh>. But if you start thinking of it as a jungle gym, like I need communication skills, let me do this. I need planning skills. Let me take a rotation to the planning department. I need financial acumen skills. Let me go to the finance department, let me slide down. And I've done a few of those in my career where I was senior, you know, and then I was like, I wanna gain business improvement expertise. And I went, went back to the literal desk where I was uhlin six Sigma black belt in training for six months.
Speaker 0 00:29:28 Wow. And I was out of the operations and for mining engineers, it's unheard of to come out of the operations to go do something else that might not, you know, cuz you don't see it helping you go upwards, but learning those skills, uh, learning how to run a business that has consistent performance results, uh, how to identify problems, how to solve problems, how to put the right controls in place. And I find that I pull from those skills a lot more in my career, the higher up I go, um, you know, certain rotations to mind closure and rehabilitation for a mining engineer, you always wanna stay in their ranks. You know, we wanna stay minor mining mind manager, but you understand enclosure permitting the work that goes toward even better. It helps even better. It makes you a more well rounded, holistic, absolutely CEO in the future because you've got skills, very broad skills.
Speaker 0 00:30:24 You understand what you're talking about from what it takes to run a total company. So I encourage that. I encourage it's collecting the dots. So that later on in your life, you connect the dots and you might connect them in a different industry altogether. Absolutely. You know, doctor numbers. I was thinking about how she was in environmental and now she's in mining and now she's in mining. But imagine the, how incredible, the skills that she learned and she brought with her coming from an environmental background. So I'm a big advocate. I, I always say to my mentees, you must have 18 month growth plans for yourself. What are you learning? I'm busy with the Yale school of management now on sustainability studies, how to around sustainable corporations. So it's, it's those skills I need to learn for myself to be a more holistic CEO in the future.
Speaker 3 00:31:14 And I think it, it ties in well with having a vision as well. I think if you, if you have a vision or where you want to see yourself, it might not be so clear, but knowing what your aspirations are helps you, it propels you to be in the jungle gym, as you say. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:31:32 Yeah. Because it's the, it's the overarching principle. It's the overarching vision, knowing that that's where I need to. That's where I go. But to get there, I
Speaker 3 00:31:40 Need to maneuver here.
Speaker 0 00:31:41 I need to get the skills I need to learn from this. I need to implement this. I need to see this through to, to fruition. Yeah, yeah,
Speaker 3 00:31:48 Yeah. Wow. I love this. I love this. Do you think that women in the mining industry or doing enough to uplift one another and we talk a lot about external empowerment, we need to be empowered to be given this and that, you know, it's, it's more about receiving from, you know, externally, but do we lift as we rise?
Speaker 0 00:32:11 We, we need to be intentional. <laugh> about lifting as we rise. Yeah. And again, it's a call to action for women that find themselves in leadership positions. It's lonely when you're alone. Um, you can't implement and advocate and have the critical mass when you're alone. Yeah. We need to, and they're incredible women. They are incredibly smart women that join the mining industry and we struggle to retain them. And one of the reasons for, for not retaining is that we haven't created critical mass. We haven't had the, the pushing voice to change certain policies and to advocate for certain things. So it's, it's, it's important that we form the critical mass, um, that we mentor that we coach that we are intentional about holding roles have been, I've been, um, accused of this many, a times I said, but you, you are holding a role for I'm like, yes, she'll get ready, but I wanna give her the opportunity to, to get in this role.
Speaker 0 00:33:10 So I will literally hold a position back. Okay. And, and say, I'm, I'm reserving this for saying you or who's gonna get her ticket in the next three months. Sure. And then, and we need to be that intentional. And part of it is that, how do I support staying away to get that ticket in three months so that she can grow support is important and, and, and, and identifying, um, those women in your, in your organization. And it should be all, it should be all, but identifying them and, and, and having discussions about their personal development growth, what they see for themselves, aligning what they see for themselves with the company goals. And what's how best they can navigate the industry. We struggle a lot with retention than we are with recruiting. We can recruit, but somewhere there's a gap and the gap is how do we then create an enabling environment? And we shouldn't look at it from an empowering position. No, because they're already empowered. They come extremely competent, but how do we create an enabling environment for them to thrive in this, in this company and us as women play bigger role in, in holding those hands and bringing as many of us up as possible so we can create the critical mass?
Speaker 3 00:34:23 No, I, I totally agree with you. Tools are very important. We need tools. Yeah. That will enable us to do the work you wear so many hats. You're very young. I think <laugh>, you're a wife, you're a mother, um, you're role at work at Illa SMA president speaker, mentors you've mentioned and all your other personal ventures. And you seem to be thriving in all of them, thriving. Yeah. Doing very well in all of them. I've watched you <laugh> how do you strike a balance and, and what makes this all possible?
Speaker 0 00:35:00 I always have this conversation in my head about a harmonious balance versus a harmonious juggle. I think mine is that of a harmonious juggle harmonious in that I don't let the important things for, for, for, or from the juggling. Um, but I think also we've kind of been conditioned to believe that we can't do it all. If you think about representation of successful women in media, that's what we believe. We believe we told that we can't, we can't do it all. And, and I'm not saying we can't do it all. I'm saying there's a juggle involved. There's prioritizing according to your values. Yeah. And what you, what is important to you mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, and, and, and delegating the rest of the stuff, you know, because also media tells us we should do it all, but we sh we can't, we can't, you'll be extremely exhausted if you, if you had to do it all.
Speaker 0 00:35:59 Yeah. Yeah. Um, but I also think there's a role to be played by our supportive structures. Mm-hmm <affirmative> you can't do it without support. Yeah. You can't do it without a, an extended support from your family, from your company, uh, from the spouse. Um, the, she says the biggest career decision a woman can make is the person she marries. So do you have, how do we make our partners real partners so that when you are leaning into your work and thriving, they then lean into the family and they thrive in the family, in the family structure as well. So it's a harmonious balance, uh, harmonious struggle. <laugh>, it's a harmonious struggle, but the, the important stuff is that I keep the important things, the main things, the main things, um, uh, I also started prioritizing quality over quantity. Okay. Cause you could spend a lot of time, but is it really quality time? So with the kids now we started prioritizing one on one dates. Okay. So yesterday's evening I was on a one on one date with one of my twin girls, um, for three hours. She only had mommy time. And that's important because in a midst of all the craziness, you, you missed the individual approach to, to parenting as well. So quality over quantity, delegate what you can delegate, um, buy support, where you need to buy support.
Speaker 0 00:37:28 <laugh>, you know, outsource support where you need to, for it, pay for it if you have to. Yeah. So it's not doing it all, but just finding that, that, that, that harmony in all of it. But I cannot advocate more for workplaces that are conducive and enabling for young mothers, um, and also home structures that are conducive as well for, for real partnerships where we are sharing in the partnership of, of, of the ties. Wow.
Speaker 3 00:37:55 I like that you mentioned this one on one date that you had with, with your, one of your twin daughters. Yeah. Um, motherhood has a way of revealing certain attributes. <laugh> about us. Yeah. That we, we had not been aware of. What have you learned about yourself through motherhood? Sure.
Speaker 0 00:38:16 I think my, my outlook, even on my career changed when I was expecting my twin girls, um, because I started asking myself is, is this world a, a, an enabling conducive, safe world for them to grow in? So I struggled psychologically, um, with, with, with, with bringing two girls into the world, but I also felt a bigger calling towards me changing this world and influencing this world to change so that it's a CFA healthier, um, more enabling world for them. So that's, that's, that's, that's how motherhood has changed me. Um, the girls, particularly, I wanted them to see me thrive and, and strive to be at the pinnacle of all that I do so that I can start being in rooms where I can advocate for more equal workplaces for a more equal world. So it's a bigger calling now, it's that? It's how do I change this world so that my daughters are better off growing and being safer and thriving in, in this world? Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:39:31 Now let's move on to health and safety in the mining industry, gender based violence exists everywhere. Yeah. Even in mining. Yeah. Women are reluctant in reporting fearing to be victimized re um, there's a time I had an interview with, um, plat CEO, Natasha Fellon. Yes. And she referred to a mind manager that told her that she preferred wearing a single piece PPE as opposed to a two piece one. And when Natasha asked, but why, I mean, we've made strides for you to, for women to get two piece, you know, so that it's easier for, you know, evolution services. Why do you want a single piece? And then the woman's the main manager says, um, it, it's gonna be difficult for someone trying to violate me. Sure. If I'm wearing a one piece PPE that is hate, that was gut wrenching. That
Speaker 0 00:40:27 Is hectic.
Speaker 3 00:40:29 Is the mining industry doing enough to curb, gender based violence?
Speaker 0 00:40:34 Sure. I think the companies, um, the they're busy with the right things, um, there's policies on gender based violence. Oh,
Speaker 3 00:40:49 Implementing, do they come to true
Speaker 0 00:40:52 Issue? They do. I think so. Um, let, and it's such a multilayered question, right? Firstly, from a mechanistic point of view, there's the reporting hotlines, there's the structures to say when something is reported, how does it get investigated there's policies? We have panic patterns for the women working underground. We've got separate evolution facilities. Um, we've got, um, lighting in the parking lots and adequate light lighting. Um, we don't get enough reports. And that makes me believe that there might be an element of under reporting because I don't wanna believe that it's such a very ideal, it's perfect that we don't, that these things don't happen. And because I sit in the women in mining structures, I would be privy to any reports that do come. We don't get enough, we don't get enough reports. Um, but I also think the issue of gender based violence transcends beyond the mind gates.
Speaker 0 00:41:59 So while the minds can mechanically do the right things within our premises, because gender based violence is so entrenched in our culture, in our communities, it's going to be important that we show good corporate citizenship. And we extend what we do to outside our gates as well. And I remember this one organization, um, I was at the minerals council, um, launch of the gender based violence policy. And the one organization spoke about how they realized that women, their own employees were staying in abusive and unhealthy environments because they couldn't afford to buy homes to leave those environments. So they were financially dependent on this individual. Um, that was, that was abusing them. And they said that they were intentional about funding home loans for their women employees imagine how empowering that is because now she has an option to leave power, to leave a power to leave.
Speaker 0 00:43:04 So I think as, as companies, while we do the right kind of stuff internally within our gates, that we need to extend that beyond to our local communities as well, because Jennifer is violence is so entrenched in, in, in the core society of our society. That even if we do the right things internally, we're still not changing, arrive outside. It's still arrive outside and nothing stops it from then entering your premises because there's certain beliefs. And I think we can still do a lot more in training, you know, the softer stuff. How do you really change the core beliefs about women and men's role and certain gender stereotypes and patriarchal practices? How do we bring that education into our gates? You know, how do we start creating this environment where women and men are seen as equal even within our premises as well? So it, it needs us to extend beyond our gates and it needs us to bring the element of how do we train the core because we can have the right mechanistic things. But if you're not changing the core beliefs, what lies under what we can see, we still won't, we haven't got into the heart of it. We haven't gotten to the heart of it.
Speaker 3 00:44:22 So there is still a lot of work to be done in that sense. Yeah. Yeah. One of the objective, uh, objectives at SMA is to promote the sharing of best safe and operational practices between stakeholders. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. We have seen a spike of 74 fatalities in the mining industry in 2021. How does SMA ensure that its members maintain zero harm?
Speaker 0 00:44:48 Sure. <laugh> and, and, and that's what SMA is about. It was initially the initial intent of SMA was safe working places for our employees, which ties in with the minerals council, Kubu Laki and each worker returning home and harmed at the end of the day. And what SMA does is with our 400 plus members, firstly, we've got opportunities for engaging on safety issues. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. So when an incident comes out, whether it's in another commodity gold platinum iron, or we discuss it in a sense of, can it happen here? What are those things we need to look out for within our space? So we create that environment and that platform where members can engage with an incident from a point of where do we need to fix in our working places. We've also started where we didn't started a couple of years ago, we started running the peer review audits, okay.
Speaker 0 00:45:47 Where we put together a team of subject matter experts, some sub members, but also their ventilation and occupational hygienists from their minds. They are very smart rock engineers and former team that goes into another company's operation to play a role of assurance and audit and best practice sharing and incident identification for them. And it's a, it's a service that SMA offers to all our members, but it became even more important as there were new players, new, smaller minds, which may not play by the same rules, you know, play by the same regulations to say, we can then offer this service to you as well to say, you can invite this team of subject matter experts into your workplaces. And we can help you with identifying and seeing what best practice, what you can implement in your work area, because it goes beyond just SMA. It goes into the industry, it goes beyond just your operation.
Speaker 0 00:46:43 How do we make the industry safer? We looking at the competency of the minors all the way to mine over here and even, uh, mind manager. Yeah. So, um, we we've started picking up that there's cracks within, you know, some of the minor education that is done and those cracks sometimes do manifest in incidents because of a knowledge gap. So strategically our council, we have a, a work stream. That's looking at the competency of minors all the way from minor phase to, uh, minor C CFAs. We host mine oversee workshops. We sit on the mine oversee commission of, of, of exams, mind manager, commission of exams to say, how do we get them ready? How do they understand the depth of their legal appointment? Do they understand the law, the regulation, the safety practices, um, that it takes to, to run a, a mind in a safe way.
Speaker 0 00:47:35 Um, we, you responsible for being responsible, the workers. Yeah. And, and, and, and there's elements of, you know, even environment in society, but just talking about safety directly, that's the power, suck my head within sharing, just sharing of incidents. What happened in my operation, please go and look out for this specific thing that may be happening. A good example is we've had a few incidents relating to the PDs, the proximity detection systems, which have resulted in a few fatalities. And it's taking that conversation forward to say, clearly something is broken here. We thought we had this technology that was going to reduce TMM incidents. It hasn't yet, but because Sigma is a broader group of different companies. We have a collective voice to say, let's bring in the supplies. Let's bring in the OEM. Let's bring in the operators. Let's understand what the challenge is that we still getting incidents TMM related.
Speaker 0 00:48:37 You would also, I think we met at the rock fall prevention, um, call to action minerals council for through the minerals council. Again, our members play a critical role and they stay on top of the latest research on what's happening in, in, in, in industry, you know, uh, all the research that's happen happening within col tech. We can influence SMA what research we need in the minds. If dust is our issue for that specific period, the research will be aligned towards how do we, uh, allay dust in our know underground working environments. So it's about staying at the helm of what's happening in your industry, new innovations, uh, learning from the latest incidents that have happened and implementing those things back in your, in your operation.
Speaker 3 00:49:24 So this is a continuous cycle of learning, finding out what's happening. What can we improve? That's, that's absolutely commendable.
Speaker 0 00:49:32 And, and there's maybe to Erin that there's an element of also forming a collaboration with, you know, within the trip with the DM R E. So we do engage a lot with the DM R E we have workshops where our members, uh, attend and they kind of conversations with the DM E on regulations on what they find in the minds on golden threads that come from the incidents that, that the DM R E is picking up. And it's incredible that we can have that kind of one-on-one conversations with the regulators. And they tell us, listen, look out for this. Yeah. Um, also, you know, through the TripIt forums, we can talk to our employee representatives because they also play a critical role in how the employees look at safety and they, they conduct their work, um, to ensure that they stay safe at the end of the day.
Speaker 3 00:50:23 So let's now move on to the lighthearted stuff. You've, you've achieved so much both professionally and personally. Yeah. How has personal development played a role in this?
Speaker 0 00:50:36 Sure. <laugh> I, I, I do a lot of self work, uh, and by self work, it's the inner work it's how do I get better at things? And it's not just from a professional perspective. It's how do I become a better, a better partner? How do I become a better parent? Um, how do I become a better salesperson? Cause I was, I wasn't very good at sale. I was like, I'm not a sailer. I cannot sell anything. And I started listening to podcasts on selling and marketing because those are skills I felt I did not have and I needed to gain, and I tend to flex them now trying to become a bit more entrepreneurial just to flex the skills that I'm learning. But it's important that you always are our way of your gaps. Yeah. And, and where you would like to see yourself and what you need to do in this step. Uh, what skills do you need to be learning? And it doesn't have to be formal education. I mean, I've got a master's, but maybe PhD one day. Yeah. But it doesn't have to be formal education. I surround myself with people that help me to grow. You know, if they say you're an average of the five people you spend time with, who are your five people, you know? So I try and surround myself with people that I'm constantly learning from,
Speaker 0 00:51:54 Uh, podcasts, YouTube. I watched you on YouTube. I listen to your interviews a lot. And I learn from, from, from the conversations that you have with the various, um, with the various mining CEOs and leaders in, in, in industry, I think you, you, as a person, you need to have a continuous growth mindset and an acknowledgement that you don't know it all. If people act at a level that they know, it means if you do better, you can, if you learn more, you can do better. Uh, and for me, it's, it's exactly that I'm also lucky enough to have a two hour commute when I go to between work and home. Yeah. And I, I love that time. Not only do I see incredible sunrises and sunsets, but it's also my personal development time. Um, I can reflect on my day, I can reflect on decisions I've made on conversations I've had.
Speaker 0 00:52:46 And I was like, Hmm, you could have done that better. Um, certain engagements where I felt, I, I maybe I did not give my best and I have that time and I hold myself accountable for certain things. But I also get to read a lot. And by reading, I mean, listen to audio books, I listen to podcasts. I treat all my podcasts. Like they're my best friends in the room. Yeah. Just drinking my coffee and, and, you know, and I'm listening to a lot of personal development and parenting and leadership podcast. Uh, there's one I started listening to now, which is the journey to zero to net zero, zero, and, and sustainability, which I think it's, it's, it's the next thing that's coming. How do we run sustainable organizations? So I'm trying to up my skillset and, and talk the language and understand the concepts.
Speaker 0 00:53:38 So as a person, you always constantly need to be, need to be learning. I, I don't have a lot of TV time, but I have a lot of learning time, time. I have a lot of learning time and conversations. And just talking to my grandmother, like learning humility, learning brings you back to life. It brings you back to yourself. So sometimes my two hour commute is me calling go, go and, and catching up on life. But, and, and listening to her experiences, um, yeah, it's helped me to, to get to know her a lot better, the decisions she take, how they shaped me as a person and how, you know, I can, I can implement, but also maybe sometimes unlearn certain things, you know? So
Speaker 3 00:54:21 It takes a lot of unlearning to start learning new things,
Speaker 0 00:54:24 To start learning new things. And the reflecting time I talk about it, some of it is actually unlearning, unlearning. Cause you ask yourself, why did I make that specific decision? What is the belief that I hold about that decision that I had? And once you start unpeeling the onion and, and getting to the core, why you,
Speaker 3 00:54:40 The paradigm shifts,
Speaker 0 00:54:43 You need to understand the inner, inner, inner a reason why you did something for you to change. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:54:48 Who is your current inspiration in the mining industry? Male or female. Yeah. And why
Speaker 0 00:54:56 You're putting me on a spot because, um, I have to like say all great things about all the <laugh>
Speaker 3 00:55:01 One. Okay. Two, wait,
Speaker 0 00:55:03 No,
Speaker 3 00:55:03 It's <laugh> okay. Give me the top street.
Speaker 0 00:55:08 I'm gonna answer this like a politician.
Speaker 3 00:55:10 <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:55:12 My, my first female boss, after eight years in the industry was aand Ludi. And she's like a dynamite, you know, in a very small package, but she, she willed so much authentic leadership. So from her, it was just about that authentic leadership and really showing care and respect for the people that you work with. Um, I think my currency is quite a visionary and very bold, and I, we appreciate that about him. So I'm learning also just being bold about your beliefs as well. Yeah. Um, you know, certain leaders I've had, you know, and the importance of family as an example and family values. So I've, I've learned a lot from everyone, but I have to say I'm incredibly motivated and inspired by the women that I see shattering the glass ceiling that you wanna call it. Now, finally, I can see myself being reflected in, in reports. I know reports of companies. So I, I stay inspired. You know, I, I, I stay inspired.
Speaker 3 00:56:13 What do you think is your role in mining your sole purpose, uh, in serving the industry and, and one that you want to be known for
Speaker 0 00:56:24 Sure. It's, it's a two prone. One, one of them is definitely the representation. If you remember, four years ago, we didn't have the, the Natasha as an example. So it's draining the ranks of those women and pulling more women up. But secondly, I think the issue of sustainability and being corporate citizens and us really championing issues of environmental protection and society, and livelihoods is a big one. And if we don't manage it correctly, it might even become a risk to the industry. So it's playing a, a leading role in creating a culture of collaboration, not just within a company, but within different companies within sectors to say with all that, with all the resources that we have, how can we improve the livelihoods of the people, um, in the societies where we exist. So for me, that's that, that is now my overarching vision to say, how do we use the power that we have, the influence, the resources, the finances to better the lives of the people around us. So that towns like be, which are surrounded by mines can thrive. And we can later look back and say these small rural towns, and now this embodiment of excellence and best in schooling healthcare, because the minds got involved with how we can make them better.
Speaker 3 00:57:54 Your final word to young women. As we close off 2020 twos women's month,
Speaker 0 00:58:00 We are rooting for you. We are ready to mentor and to coach you, um, don't doubt yourself. Greatness is already within you. You are already empowered. We just wanna create the enabling environment for you to thrive.
Speaker 3 00:58:15 Ladies and gentlemen, we've come to the end of this wonderful session. I know that you've all taken nuggets for yourself from the session with UNO. Zini the president of the south African coy room managers association. Thank you for tuning in until next time. Byebye.
Speaker 2 00:58:36 Thank you for listening. Remember to like share and subscribe to deep insights for more mining news, visit mining review.com until next time. Goodbye.