Pump and minerals processing solutions provider Weir Minerals Africa celebrates not only the diversity of its people across the continent of Africa, but also the important role that women play within its business and the broader mining industry.
Contributing to the success of the organisation, women can be found in positions from senior management to engineers, and product specialists to skilled artisans on the shop floor.
Operating in the tough mining equipment supply sector, competent women contribute strongly to the teams in which they work, bringing different perspectives to problem solving and an innovative approach to product applications and solutions.
Weir Minerals Africa has encouraged the development of its women engineers and product specialists to thrive in technical roles.
Engineering disciplines are the cornerstone of the organisation’s business, and commitment to recognising, securing and retaining talent has informed its approach to its expanded range of learning programmes which are seeing increased participation.
Opportunities are offered across the board with the company’s Graduate Programme, usually accommodating an average of 20 learners per annum and which aims to include a 40% female contingent.
The 2019 graduate programme has a 48% female intake from mechanical, chemical, metallurgical and industrial engineering disciplines. More often than not, the vast majority of these graduates are taken up in the business in various permanent roles.
A major differentiator in the Weir Minerals Africa Graduate Programme is that these graduates actively contribute to the business from day one; unlike other companies they are not merely job shadowing.
They are expected to participate as a valued member of the team and are encouraged and acknowledged as they grow in the business through this learning process.
These graduates interface not only internally but also with the market allowing them to absorb greater experiential learning opportunities. Many of these are women training in product specialist roles.
Weir Minerals Africa is an active participant in the Cell C Take A Girl Child to Work initiative and the company has noted the interest many young girls take in the engineering environment once they have spent the day at one of the company’s local manufacturing facilities.
Weir Minerals Africa believes it is critical to have the talent appropriate to both the business and the marketplace to ensure that the organisation retains its leading position.
This dictates that the company maintains its youth talent pipeline bringing fresh, new ideas and thought processes into the business. This is after all what will ensure sustainability.