The global mining equipment and technology company, Sandvik Mining and Construction, has since 2018 trained 19 female engineering graduates in Ghana in practical mining works.
The 19 beneficiaries were trained through the company’s initiative to enhance the skills of female engineers in the field of mining.
Six out of the 19 beneficiaries have so far been employed by the company, with many working in other companies.
The initiative forms part of the company’s measures to get more women in the mining sector as well as to celebrate the contributions of women in the mining field under the banner of the International Day of Women in Mining.
Ms. Mercy Antwiwaah Arthur, a Senior female Engineer of Sandvik Mining and Construction, is one of the beneficiaries of the programme shares her experiences with the programme.
She said her first exposure to the mining industry came through an internship she undertook while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the work I did there and consequently sought opportunities in the mining industry after my graduation as a Mechanical Engineer. I landed another internship position, this time at Sandvik, shortly after my graduation. Following the internship, I had the opportunity to carry out my national service with Sandvik as a Graduate Engineer. I have never looked back since,” she explained.
She said “Some months after my national service as a Graduate Engineer, I was employed as a Sales Engineer. As a Sales Engineer, I provided equipment solutions to customers in the West Africa sub-region", adding "There was a progression from this role to a Senior Sales Engineer role during which I had to go out of my comfort zone and coordinate some projects within the company."
Sharing her experience as a woman working in the mining sector, Ms Arthur said “It has been an enriching experience as a woman in this male dominated field particularly because I have had to often go out of my comfort zone, learn to overlook certain prejudices, and strive to exceed expectations. Sandvik’s commitment towards creating equal opportunities for all employees irrespective of gender has been instrumental in making it possible for me to thrive in this male dominated sector.”
For her, to attract and retain more women in the mining industry, many companies must follow the Sandvik Mining example in investing in female graduates.
“I believe Sandvik is doing quite well in this area by encouraging and showing women in the tertiary institutions the various opportunities available to them. I think if this is sustained and adopted by other companies in the industry, the number of women would increase significantly. I also think if these efforts are combined with the availability of more internship positions, then more curious women could have a feel for the industry whilst they are still in school and hopefully decide to get into it full time like I did.”
She advised young women starting their careers to believe in themselves and not to let others’ opinions of them influence their thoughts.