In paying tribute to the woman and her contribution to society, BCL recently organized a high tea afternoon for its women employees to celebrate the Women’s Month.
As the main attraction for the event, BCL, which is based in Phikwe, invited Connie Ferguson, a famous Motswana actress based in South Africa.
Ferguson is best known for her role as the leading lady, Karabo Moroka, of the popular South African soapie, Generations.
In fact, most people often forget that her off-set name is not Karabo.
Her message for the day to the women was a caption that read,” Women thou art powerful”, as she went on to explain the doors of opportunity available to women of today to prove their worth.┬á┬á
She advised the women to involve men in their quest for empowerment.
“I believe that just because we seek empowerment doesn’t mean that we have to sideline our men, because we might need their support in the long run,” said Ferguson.
This year marks the first time ever in BCL’s history to celebrate the Month of Women, even though they have always had women staff in the past.
Ferguson’s presence was to be testimony of a woman who made it big despite working in a male dominated environment for years, something she has in common with the women who work for BCL.
Despite the increase in the female workforce at BCL, women are still a minority.
Montwedi Mphathi, the General Manager of BCL, said that although the environment might still be male dominated, they have a number of women working in different sections of the mine, especially in areas of mining, engineering and labs, amongst others.
An area of interest that Mphathi noted was that women were now also working underground, a section which has always been assigned to men.
┬á“Until recently when it was lifted, there was a law prohibiting women from working underground,” said Mphathi. “I personally believe lifting the ban (on women working underground) was a good idea. In my experience, women are very reliable workers; they also bring stability to the world of work.”
A female worker at BCL, Oampata Phetle, claims to be amongst the oldest females in her field of work, metal production.
According to her, it is only recently that a few other women joined her line of work, but for years she had to deal with being the only female in her environment.
She says she saw this as a chance to prove herself and her capabilities.
She advised the women present on how to best deal with men in order to have a productive working relationship within the mine.┬á┬á ┬á┬á
“Don’t entertain love affairs within the working environment; otherwise they will lose respect for you because as a woman, even when you are qualified, the men will doubt you and your ability to perform. Work in harmony with the men on a professional basis, that is how I managed to become head of my department,” said Phetle.
BCL has a number of loyal and devoted women, some of whom having been with the company for well over 27 years.