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Meet some of our women in mining that are mothers

In honour of Mother’s Day, we talked to some of the mothers that work with us in mining to see how they manage work, life and everything in between.

What is your role in De Beers part of the Anglo American Group?

As a process manager, my role is to support the delivery of accurate production and sample valuations to yield maximum value to De Beers and its partners and providing consistency for its clients. The ability to deliver productions “Right-First-Time” is pivotal to the operating success of DBSSSA.

As a mother of three, how do you manage your work-life balance?

I keep my work and family life very separate. At work I focus on work and after 6pm and on weekends I am completely dedicated to my children and my family life.  When my kids are in bed; I make time for those smaller tasks that you don’t get to during the day.

What helps you in your day to day life to manage work and home?

For me, family support is essential as my sister and father help by picking the kids up from school, which gives me peace of mind while I am at work. When I need to attend those special events at school my manager is always understanding and allows me flexibility to be attend those special events.

As a mother, who is your greatest inspiration and why?

Our Heavenly Father is my greatest inspiration. He protects my children and me and provides for our every need on a daily basis. I also cling to His word for without it we are nothing.  A lady that means the world to me is my mother. She has assisted me in difficult times and has helped me through my journey as a mom. Nothing gets her down in life and she has taught me to pray daily for your kids.

What message do you have for other working mothers?

Always put your kids first in everything you do. We will ultimately do everything to the best of your ability because you are doing it for them.  

What is your role at Anglo American?

My role is really diverse as I’m involved with various aspects in the public affairs and corporate communication departments from events management, managing the corporate gift shop, branding, providing support to our communication manager and specialist while I also undertake additional projects within the Stakeholder Relations and Community Engagement & Development departments.

As the mother of two, how do you manage your work-life balance?

I lead an extremely hectic lifestyle.  Over and above being a working mom, I live 88km away, which means leaving home very early and arriving home late. When I arrive home in the evening, the first two hours are spent on homework/tutoring the kids and spending quality time, which I believe is important. I am blessed with a husband who is hands-on and is supportive of me achieving my career objectives and an added bonus is that he cooks. When I am at the office I pour myself into my work and when I am at home I give my family my full attention, and most importantly I try not to let the stresses from either spill over into the other.

What are some of the challenges you face as a working mother?

The mining industry is ever-changing, pressurised and fast-paced. You are often required to work long hours during evenings and weekends, which makes multitasking abilities and family support even more important.

As a mother, who is your greatest inspiration and why?

My mom is my greatest inspiration. She has always been career-driven, well-networked and goal-orientated. Although my mom has embraced the modern culture she still maintains very solid ethics and principles and that is what keeps our family grounded and close-knit. Like any other mother out there, she has had her fair share of challenges which she overcame with grace and poise.

What message do you have for other working mothers?

To achieve work-life balance, be disciplined, have a positive mind-set and everything thereafter is achievable. Ensure that you are continuously empowering yourself and others.  

What is your role at Anglo American?

I am accountable for the overall Isibonelo Safety, production output at budgeted costs; and I lead a team of mining and engineering managers, administrators, contractors and our competent operators, and tradesmen and women.

As the legal guardian of your 11 year old niece, how do you manage your work-life balance?

Time management between work and home responsibilities is very important. I value and set time aside for the simple daily routines and activities that we as a family frequently do together. I don’t try to do everything, but I focus on the activities that I deem valuable and those that we can do together.

What are some of the challenges you face as a working mother?

I never had the experience of juggling work while taking care of a small baby, as Refilwe came into my life when she was already 8 years old. However, what I found difficult as a mom, was going home tired and sometimes emotionally drained, and still needing to make time for her knowing she had been waiting to see me. This is a hurdle I’ve discussed with a lot of my other female colleagues who have had similar struggles.  Support and assistance from family and friends is essential as it helps especially in the times when I’m away or working long hours.

As a mother, who is your greatest inspiration and why?

My mother! Looking back now – I can’t believe she literally cooked every single day for us and still spared some quality time to catch-up with us irrespective of how busy her day might have been.  I decided to apply a similar pattern which took a while and would sometimes find myself challenged in this regard.

What message do you have for other working mothers?

I think working mothers can do both; have kids and still have careers. It is challenging, particularly for ladies that need to put in extra time at work. My advice is that mothers and ladies should know what battles to fight – you can’t do everything. Mothers must define clearly in their minds what they are not willing to delegate where their kids are concerned and then fit those parental responsibilities into their daily rhythm. All this while still making sure the overall needs of the kids are met.

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