Image Credit WiMSA
THE struggle for equality between the sexes is ongoing, although in recent years there has seen a closer parity in the opportunities that are afforded to women.
There is still some way to go, however. Young girls today begin life’s journey with lofty dreams, but most often culture distinguishes these flames of optimism steering them to stick to the traditional roles of homemaker and a mother.
Consequently, this derails a young woman’s self-belief with most living their lives not knowing their true worth.
Today, attitudes are changing, and gender is not seen as the obstacle it once was, preventing women from pursuing their dreams.
The key drivers for success today are determined by aptitude, commitment, hard work, dedication and a “can do” attitude. For instance, Josephine Kimambo and Shadya Jamali are among some few women in the mining industry, forming part of Geita Gold Mining Limited’s Health, Safety, Environment and Training (HSE&T) Department.
They both live by the mantra that “an ordinary life in an extraordinary world is boring and unfulfilled.”
Believing that everyone is unique and can leave a legacy has proved from their perspective that gender is not a barrier as long as they know the purpose of their existence.
Josephine Kimambo, currently a Senior Officer, joined GGML in 2012 as a graduate trainee under the undergraduate recruitment program.
After successfully completing the program in 2014, she secured employment and took up the role of Waste and Chemical Officer and has enjoyed every minute of her time working at GGML to date. Josephine believes that everyone is an author to their story and has the power to make this story a positive or negative one.
Everyone decides whether they will settle for being ordinary or not. Likewise, she opines, “Anyone can be extraordinary as long as they are committed to self-improvement and personal development.” “Working in mining as a woman isn’t as hard as it is perceived.
It is a good working environment; this is because the company adheres to international standards and experts, who continue to enhance our knowledge.
There are a lot of opportunities to grow, but only if one decides to concentrate their efforts in whatever they are doing. I encourage other women working at GGML and those who wish to join the mining industry to refuse to be ordinary and refrain from making excuses for who they are.
After all, being a woman is not an excuse to fail,” she urges other women. Another member of the HSE&T Department and Josephine’s colleague is Environment Officer, Shadya Jamali.
She encourages women to ignore the misplaced conceptions of working in the mining industry and dispel any self-doubts in order to succeed in forging a career in the industry.
“To my dear women who are paralyzed by insecurities or overwhelmed by the odds, please don’t let fear stop you because the greatest obstacle in life is fear.
As a woman who works in a male dominated field, I understand how challenging the environment could be as we encounter many hurdles, but we must not accept defeat easily.
Women have a number of potential roles to play in bringing changes in their areas and we should get rid of utopian beliefs that women are only mothers and not workers.
Women can do both and even more than their male counterparts,” points out Shadya. Geita Gold Mining Limited (GGML) like many forward thinking companies have made it a priority to maintain best practices in human capital as they navigate the challenges emerging from the maturing Tanzanian labour market, by selecting the best candidates purely on merit and without gender limitations.
The Company has strong non-discrimination policies and values the diversity of its workforce which enables it actively to invest in initiatives that promote women at the workplace.
One of these initiatives by GGML is sponsoring its female employees to participate in the Female Future Program administered by the Association of Tanzania Employers (ATE), that prepares them to take up leadership roles within and outside the Company.