By Business Reporter – Wednesday 3 March 2021
WOMENS MONTH – PROFILES – (Mining Index) – KUDZAI TUHWE is a holder of a prospective gold mining license in Chegutu.
She is also a mining investment consultant who has also done mining through partnerships in Chiweshe and Chegutu.
Her mining career started in the banking sector where she was in charge of a mining investment portfolio.
‘I started my career at CBZ Bank where I ended up in charge of the mining portfolio. My new mining portfolio motivated me to study Mineral Resource Valuation with the Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM). This was my introduction to the industry, and I stayed in the industry because it became my passion and purpose,’ she said.
What did you do to improve Women in Mining?
I joined networks of women in the mining industry.
I support, inspire and mentor other women. I intend to do more by creating a space for women’s voices to be heard.
My emphasis is on mentorship, support for women in the mining industry, creating opportunities for women to network, providing a presence at educational institutions to further public knowledge about careers for women in mining and ensuring that legislation provides a clear framework for the creation of workplaces in which female mining professionals can thrive.
What challenges are you facing?
Gender discrimination is every woman’s problem. The industry needs an integrated, multiple stakeholder approach including men and women across leadership, management, labour, government and communities to be successful.
Predominantly, men are in decision-making roles today and if they are not taken along in the understanding of bias, constraints and injustices inhibiting the representation and advancement of women in the industry, the industry will not make the required progress.
What is your success story?
Being involved in the start-up funding of Pickstone – Peerless mine in Chegutu. The mine has grown, now producing over 60kg of gold every month.
What pushed you to be biased towards working with women miners?
I aim to be at the forefront of change. While there are many fields in which there are gender imbalances, the mining industry has one of the widest gender gaps.
Gender disparity in the industry is a legacy issue starting from superstition, the same way it was considered bad luck to have women enter into a mine.
In minerals operations consulting, travelling to client sites is required as there are no mines in Harare.
This brings about misconceptions that women cannot maintain a career and a family, or that they are simply not suited to an industry as traditionally masculine as mining.
What is your message of inspiration to women who want to get in the mining sector?
Mining is not a glamorous occupation, but it can be a fantastic career.
Mines were not designed with women in mind, most women do not feel encouraged to work in mining because of the conditions that we work in.
Most mines, even now, still do not have toilets. Imagine going to work all day with no facilities. But this does not mean it is impossible for women to get ahead. ENDS// www.miningindex.co.zw
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