The Mandela Mining Precinct’s (MMP) Successful Technologies Centred Around People (SATCAP) Research Programme successfully hosted a women’s immersive and inspirational event at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon’s Institute of Business Studies (GIBS) earlier this month. The aim of the event was to empower, immerse and appreciate female researchers who are contributing to mining modernisation research, through collaboration partnerships with the MMP.
“We have just celebrated women’s month, and we acknowledge that the road to transformation in mining and gender equality issues, while still a challenge, is shifting. We also know that women can accomplish much when working together to be linked, informed, educated, and empowered,” says MMP SATCAP Programme Manager Dr Sherin Ramparsad.
“We can drive the change we want to see, which includes meaningful participation and contribution in mining modernisation research,” she added.
The annual event, which was hosted by the SATCAP Programme in collaboration with WinWin International, is key and fundamental towards supporting the transformation agenda of the MMP, Department of Science and Innovation, Minerals Council South Africa, trade unions and the Department of Minerals, Resources and Energy (DMRE). It also supports the University of Pretoria’s GIBS ‘growing and empowering leaders’ agenda.
The Programme included messages from powerful female speakers including Dr Urishanie Govender, Vedanta’s Director of Environment, Safety and Governance; Unions representatives Hanlie JV Vuuren from Solidarity and Melanie Roy from the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, as well as the DMRE representative, Masefako Segooa.
The day was action-packed with inspirational and empowering stories from various attendants. Dr Ramparsad who directed the programme on the day shared an inspirational moment about ‘Leadership vs Likeability’ which leaned on a Robin Hauser’s video clip about reflecting on the gender biases that women face. She also encouraged the attendants with Dr Maya Angelou’s inspirational poem, ‘Phenomenal Woman’.
Two female researchers, Rina Muller from SML4Change and Thiru Swettenham from the Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability, shared their inspirational stories. While mindfulness coach, Casey Chang, equipped the ladies with tips and techniques to manage stress.
Female researchers at the event were honoured with appreciation certificates and a gift for their contribution in modern mining research. The attendees included researchers from various universities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, MMP interns, Technical Steering Committee members, Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa, merSETA, Mine Health and Safety Council, Minerals Council South Africa, DMRE, Trade Unions and Consultants.