Kumba Celebrates Female Employees With Dust-to-Divas Campaign

In celebration of women in mining, Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore business unit rolled out a campaign which saw two female miners from their Sishen mine trade their dusty overalls for a glamorous makeover in Johannesburg.

The inaugural ‘Dust-to-Diva’ campaign, which was linked to an internal competition, sought to recognise female employees for being valuable contributors to the success of the company throughout the month of August and September.

The two ladies, Amanda Plaatjies, a shift supervisor, and Memory Mouers, a plant operator, were ecstatic to win the grand prize. This included a two night stay at the opulent five-star The View Hotel; professional hair, makeup and beauty treatments by The Image Team; designer clothing by celebrity haute couturists Quiteria and George; spa treatments at Midori Salon and Spa; High Tea at the Michelangelo; a photographic portfolio by Dawid Roux and a variety of other fine dining opportunities.  

“Amanda and I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure. Words cannot express our gratitude for being nominated and selected for the experience. As much as I love my job, it felt good to be treated like a goddess and not to have to worry about transporting or bogging waste rock, soil and ore onto trucks,” said Mouers.

Although mining is still considered to be a male-dominated profession, women are increasingly making their mark in the industry. Today, women are found in a number of operational roles that were previously considered unsuitable for women.

To become the industry’s employer of choice, Kumba Iron Ore focuses on recruiting above the Mining Charter’s minimum requirements of 40% Historically Disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs) in management positions and 10% for women in mining. 

In 2013, HDSA employees made up 84% of its workforce and 55% of management. Also in the same year, women made up 18% of all employees and 13% of core mining positons. 20% of management positions are currently held by women.

Virginia Tyobeka, human resources executive, at Kumba Iron Ore added that the company is passionate about educating young girls about the opportunities in mining.
“The Dust-to-Diva competition was an innovative way in which Kumba was able to highlight the opportunities available for women in the mining sector. With all the exposure it has received, we want girls to know that they have the option to become a doctor, a teacher, an accountant or a mining engineer – or perhaps a model mining engineer,” she added.
“While Kumba has achieved many successes in attracting women to the mining industry, we believe that much more can be done to achieve inclusivity, equality and a gender balanced future for the industry.”

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