A 28-year-old Mine Overseer and the deputy CEO of De Beers Consolidated Mines are among the seven Anglo American employees named to Women in Mining’s annual 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining list last month.
Dineo Phaladi, a Mine Overseer at Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore, Kolomela Mine, and Nompumelelo ‘Mpumi’ Zikalala, the deputy chief executive officer at De Beers Consolidated Mines, were selected from nearly 650 nominations from around the world.
They were selected by a panel of judges for the way they have persevered in the face of adversity, found solutions to challenges, and empowered others by being a voice and role model for diversity and inclusion.
The list aims to showcase the range of female talent within the global mining industry and to identify inspirational role models to encourage future generations of women to consider mining as a career choice, say the organisers.
Ms Phaladi was appointed as the first female Mine Overseer at Kumba’s Kolomela Mine earlier this year – a role she calls “sheer bravery”, describing the combination of ensuring the health and safety of 120 people while achieving production targets as the most fulfilling role she has ever had.
“A platinum belt has been identified in the community where I grew up in. My life and career will come full circle when I will be able to safely extract mineral wealth from a farm that my great grandparents used to cultivate for agricultural benefit,” she said.
Ms Zikalala originally wanted to be a medical doctor, but was lured into mining with the promise of a fulfilling career. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I stay in mining because of the work we have driven to improve people’s lives through our product (diamonds are about emotional connections), our communities (nothing beats the feeling of seeing improvement driven by our business), our environment (we recently started moving elephants more than 1,000 miles to protect two African habitats) and working with committed De Beers employees,” she said.
The other five Anglo American employees to have made the 2018 list are:
Botswana-born Malebogo Mpugwa, the head of talent for Anglo American PLC in the UK
Ana Sanches, the chief financial officer for Anglo American PLC – Iron Ore and Nickel in Brazil
Tracey Kerr, Anglo American’s UK-based group head of safety and sustainable development for Anglo American
Dr Carmen Letton, head of open pit mining in Australia, and a non-executive director at Gold Fields
Susanna Woodward, a diamond revenue analyst for De Beers Group in the UK
Nichole McCulloch, managing director of WIM, said: “We acknowledge the contribution of women in mining by celebrating the incredible journey of 100 inspirational women. With diverse experiences, roles and professions, these women are great ambassadors for our industry, showcasing the amazing talent we have. Yet we cannot remain complacent, with a lack of female representation at the leadership level, the industry must keep advancing its diversity and inclusion initiatives so that we can continue to compete for the best and brightest talent out there.”
By Ndileka Swakamisa