From being charged with ensuring sustainability of operations as Debswana’s Environment Manager, Mpho Mosate has risen through the structures and has now been appointed a Senior Safety and Sustainability Manager at Jwaneng Mine. She is the first woman to ascend to this role. This role is at executive level and targets three key areas; Environment, Safety management and occupational health. In essence, she is charged with ensuring that all risk is managed appropriately to ensure that there is no harm to the business as per Debswana’s zero tolerance. Mosate is aware that she is sailing waters never before tested by women but is nonetheless unmoved. In fact she feels no pressure at all. “This appointment no doubt breaks the glass ceilings and re affirms the narrative that women are able to lead just as their male counterparts,” she said, adding that “It is important to realise that it is the trust and boldness of men in leadership positions who identify women who are capable and embody leadership attributes that also enable women to grow”. Having started in the position in February this year, Mosate said she has so far managed to assist the Jwaneng mine retain its certification both under Environmental Management System and Safety Management System. “We were able to undergo an audit in 2018 which helped us retain the two certifications,’ she said. She also has been able to lead the Jwaneng mine team to transition the environment management system standards from a 2004 version to a 2016 version. Describing herself as a peoplecentred leader, Mosate says one of her core values is working through partnerships, having recognised that one cannot achieve anything without contribution from others, thus one of the notable achievements she would like to be associated with is building a high performance team that is highly motivated and able stand up for each other’s success. “You can talk about retaining certifications and what that means to the greater organisation. But what I really hold to heart is having an effective high performing team that drives all this other deliverables,” she said. The high flyer also notes that as a woman in the kind of environment she works in, one has no choice but to be constantly aware that in order to survive they should ‘lean in’. “As a woman in this particular environment it is your duty to yourself and to other women that comes after you to lean in, you cannot afford to sit back and let other people to drive the goals that need to be achieved,” she said, advising women to ‘sit at the table’ at all times and speak out and put their thoughts out. “One of the things that I have certainly noticed as a woman leader is that we as women need to put our foot forward, sit at the table and lean in,” she said.
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