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Harmony - Women in Mining

11th August 2023

     

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Harmony’s inspiring women’s voices are leading the change

At Harmony, we are committed to addressing important social issues such as gender diversity in our workforce.

As such, women make up 19% of the total workforce in South Africa. Women make up 20% of the board, 20% of senior management, 24% of middle management and 19% of lower management. One of Harmony’s targets is for women to make up 28% of junior management.

Below are four of Harmony’s shining female employees.

Lipuo Mofokeng grew up in the mining town of Virginia in the Free State. The mines in her community inspired her to become a metallurgist and she eventually studied at Vaal University of Technology, graduating with a Bachelor of Technology in Metallurgical Engineering in 2015.

She is currently a Senior Metallurgist at Harmony in the Central Plant in the Free State province and has more than 14 years of experience. She started working for Harmony in 2006 and is now aiming for a management position after being trained by the gold mining company.

Mofokeng said Harmony’s metallurgy department allowed her to prove herself as she was offered development opportunities.

 

Sheena Pillay

“When women unite, build each other up and support each other, they can achieve a lot,” says Harmony  Project Manager of Sustainable Development Sheena Pillay.

When she started in mining in 2009, the industry was still rough, remote, and dangerous. Because of her gender, she encountered some obstacles in her career, but believes that a positive attitude is what makes an ambitious person.

When she was frustrated and planning to leave the male-dominated industry, Pillay heeded the advice of a certain professor who said, “If you leave, it will be difficult to make a difference from the outside. It is easier to make a change from within and empower women.”

She stayed in the industry, and is now successful and has made a difference in the communities where Harmony works.

 

Mathabo Makhaya

The coveted title of Top 35-under-35 chartered accountant 2022 went to Harmony Group Financial Manager and Chairperson of the Investment Committee Mineworkers Provident Fund (MWPF) Mathabo Makhaya.

She also received the Young Leaders Connect 2022 “Lift up Leader in Business” and “IDEAL Authentic Leadership” awards for her consistent demonstration of humble and bold leadership and commitment to transformation in her sphere of influence.

Soweto-born Makhaya is also a founding member of the Asset Owners Forum South Africa, a voluntary association of pension funds in South Africa with the strategic objective of investing in infrastructure projects in South Africa, through the MWPF representative office.

 

Montsheng Mohlatsane

“In my career, I have learnt that mining has more to offer,” says Harmony Tshepong South Operations Risk Manager Montsheng Mohlatsane, who holds a Degree in Mining Engineering and a Mine Manager’s Certificate of Competency. 

“The most important thing I would urge any young person who is interested in the mining sector is to diversify their career portfolio.”

Diversifying a career in the mining industry broadens future opportunities and can be the differentiator that helps one climb the career ladder.

The mining industry is embracing digitalisation and smart mining through the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), which is bringing new career opportunities for young people, especially women.

Montsheng is the perfect person to talk about diversifying your career as a miner.

A Virginia native, Montsheng originally wanted to be an electrical engineer when she was in high school, but a lack of finances led her to Harmony, where she was offered a scholarship to study mining engineering and was subsequently hired at Bambanani, one of Harmony’s older mines.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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