What is the purpose of WIM?
This is a global, non-governmental, and non-profit organization that was founded in the UK. There are over 60,000 female miners working in Mexico that makes up 16% of the total number. This figure may seem low, but it was just 2% when I entered the industry. We registered 13% during the first five years of WIM in Mexico. All women are extremely capable and valuable young people. We need to pass the torch to those with fresh ideas, impetus, desire, and many things to offer. I am glad I have an excellent team that has done everything. At WIM, we are working really hard. Everyone plays a part, which is why the association has been strengthened and been successful. Now, we are in 11 districts, and we will open another four more before I leave. Our goal is cover every mining state.
What are your strategies to raise the visibility of women in the sector?
The strategy is being ourselves: authentic, hardworking, and dedicated to the mining guild. We don't have anything planned in particular, though, we have already proven that we have a community and support. We also have male members. The only difference is that a man cannot be the president, because at the end of the day, our company's name is WIM. Our differences are our strengths. As women, we are not planning to compete against men; the only thing we want is to be seen as equals. We are not taking anyone's place and are working alongside our male counterparts. Previously, the women were in offices or administrative roles, and there were few female geologists. Today, there are many of us in the field, and many women handle explosives. We are present in every area that takes place in the mining sector.
What projects are you working on currently?
At WIM, we do not define ourselves by looking at who wants to work with us or who will become the president. In my opinion, it is more about who we follow and keep following that path. We have been in Mexico for five years, and in the first three years we had another excellent female president. Although the beginning is always the most difficult phase, she was successful, and we were focused on positioning and understanding ourselves in those first few years. It was difficult for us to break through, and it took time. They paved the way for us to follow, and we are continuing to make it bigger.
What is the next step now that you are already established in Mexico?
We need to continue improving, supporting, and encouraging women because many of them do not dare to set foot in this industry. Anything is possible, and women are extremely hardworking. I have not met a woman without a nice story to tell. Every woman, whether they are starting out in the company or have been here for a long time, has their own success story. We are surrounded by talented people, and we must give them the opportunity to feel welcome in order for them to reach higher and be proud of their achievements.
What challenges do you face in your goal to give women more visibility?
We live in a man's country. There are many people who challenge and question your ability to move 200 bags of cement as a woman, for example. It is not about competition but complementing each other and using our intelligence. We have inspired new female members to join us with more confidence. We want them to have a sense of belonging, complement each other, and feel supported and confident in their abilities. This is because, dare I say it, we are all equal. I love my job. And what is more, I often form an emotional attachment to our youngest recruits. They say that if you do not have a hard time, it is not work. It is wonderful.