Interview: Yevai Goto Deputy CEO ETG – CURECHEM
WHY CELEBRATE WOMEN IN MINING
Coming from a service provider for Mining Reagents & Explosive for small, medium, and large Mines do understand it takes courage, strength, confidence, innovation, and talent of beautiful women out there to run Mining operations at different levels.
Yevai Goto, you are a Director of one of the most prominent Companies supplying quality chemicals not only to the Zimbabwe mining industry, what is your working day like?
Each day is a challenge and truly comes with its own challenges as we are a solution provider, not only selling Mining Chemicals and Explosives. As a woman, you need to be always ahead, thus seeking new areas of research and working with experts to help you quickly grasp the concepts and start implementing them.
How safe are chemicals in the Mining industry?
All chemicals are hazardous, and it’s important to have the necessary knowledge on how to handle hazardous chemicals. That’s where Women in Mining score the BEST as we have the privilege of being Mothers, Sisters, and Wives, this gives us the instinct to ensure safety and understand the environmental impact of our surroundings.
Do you have programs to train miners on the safe use of chemicals?
Yes, we do conduct ” Safe Handling and Use of Hazardous Chemicals Training” at the Mine level, Province level, and Country level in Partnership with Government Environmental Authorities.
CURECHEM is now ETG-CURECHEM with Mining Support Activities in Zimbabwe, Zambia, DRC, South Africa, Tanzania, Sudan, Mozambique, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and soon Nigeria. What is in those countries that we should emulate here in our mining industry?
From Engineering, Metallurgy, and Mining to Mineral Resource, Finance, and Protection Services, women are represented in all departments and Government Policies puts more effort to improve female representation in the workforce by removing barriers and providing full and genuine access to all occupations for women, including leadership roles which give Scores to the Mining Company rating system. It would be good to see such initiatives in Zimbabwe and other Countries.
What are your key competencies and skills in your current role?
I refer to them as CUC:
C – capitalize and leverage my strength
U – understand which competency or skill I need to capitalize on for the situation at hand, develop and adapt.
C – Commit to a process, person, or program that will help build the complete range of competencies required for success.
You are one of the few females who is leading in a male-dominated environment, what are some of the challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
I wouldn’t say the “challenges are because I’m a Woman” but there is criticism direct or indirect, and I have learned to not be afraid to speak up and never stop learning. As a woman, I should not try to fit in, but just be myself and learn how to say “No” as opposed to just being a “Yes” woman I think this has earned me respect & loyalty in the industry.
What role did Curechem play in moulding you in your career?
The company has always believed in talent identification, nurturing that talent, and perfecting that talent by providing all the resources and support. This has been my journey and I am not the only one at the company who has benefitted from this wonderful philosophy over the 25-plus years of the company’s existence. This philosophy continues to be implemented to this day and has worked wonders for the Company.
Who is your female role model and why?
My Mother, every day would remind us “A Woman should always do more than one chore at a time, and all planning of the following day’s chores before sleeping” This concept of multi-skilling, especially in today’s fast-paced nature of modern Mining Technology advancement is key for growth.
What changes (if any) would you like to see in the work environment to promote women’s participation at all levels?
It starts with us women, from an individual level to the corporate level; let us stand for what we believe in with a “louder Confident Voice” for Strategic Growth at all levels.
In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m always on the move from one country to another, and free time is a luxury now (laugh), however, in any country, I look for nature spots, sit and soak in the beauty of nature that has existed before us and will continue to exist long after us. This keeps me humbled and always environmentally conscious.
Words of advice to women who wish to follow in your footsteps career-wise?
Flexibility is a key strength for women in businesses, I’m an Agronomist by profession but crops grow in soil and the soil is ore in mining language, as women let us learn to go beyond our immediate role and become flexible and responsive to business needs.