As one of the foremost employers in Liberia, it is a fair guess that sometimes not everyone recruited by ArcelorMittal Liberia lives up to expectations.
However, AML has a strong HR team that goes out seeking the best and the brightest. And four young women working in a field dominated by males, are proving that with the right training, determination, and the right opportunities, regardless of gender, anyone can succeed.
Mabel C. Piah, Linda Dolo, Donlesia Golakeh, and Lydia Mator are four female mines workers at AML, and among the best and the brightest. The four gained employment with the company at different times, and share a passion for what they do, with a mindset that determination and a positive work attitude can open bigger doors of opportunity.
Mabel, for instance, has for more than 10 years, worked with AML performing technical duties in the Database Control Room at the mines.
As a data collector in the Management & Information System (MIS) at Tokadeh, she screens the flash report from the pit about the DSO, low-grade, kanga, and waste materials. Among her duties, she sports errors (where they may be), returns the same to the source of the information, and follows up to make sure the necessary corrections are made.
Even though she does not rule out challenges on the job, Mabel feels delighted that apart from her medical knowledge acquired from the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA), she got the opportunity with AML to be trained as a Database Technician to perform such a technical task and to train others assigned to her.
Additionally, she believes that other women like her are out there seeking opportunities to serve non-traditional roles such as the one to which she is assigned. This is something, she says makes her proud.
“I see it great because other women want to have the chance to do what I am doing, but it’s not easy for them. I feel proud working with AML as a woman in this position, and it only takes you the time to love what you do and grow into it; for a day will come and you will be elevated to the highest,” Mabel said in an interview.
Passion for her profession has also led Linda Dolo, AML Environmental and Reforestation Officer to now become a trainer in that area for others. Hearing Linda explaining the variety of tree species and areas they grow leaves no doubt that she is well trained in General Forestry.
“The opportunity to have this work with AML makes me learn every day because I dreamed of being a forester and today, I am doing the work associated with my dream,” said Linda.
As a professional in the area, she explained that having a botanical garden with a variety of species grown for reforestation will help the environment to have at least seventy-five percent of the trees restored, thus making it not to be prone to degradation, when ArcelorMittal leaves.
According to Linda, some of the trees planted in the operational areas are of economic value while others are nut-bearing ones that the animals can feed on.
Lydia Mator and Donlesia Golakeh are also two female professionals at AML who are passionate about working in their respective areas.
Lydia is a Data Clerk but currently acting as Material Resource Officer.
She said, “I love what I am doing because you need to have passion for anything you do to succeed.
She is a graduate of the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
“While it is my desire to get promoted, I need to first perform my task well so that my supervisor and other bosses can see a reason to upgrade my status,” she said.
Donlesia, a Cat Mechanic, was trained at the AML Training Academy as a heavy-duty mechanic.
Without any doubt, such a job is perceived in Liberian society as men’s job because of the technicality and strength required to do it.
Nevertheless, Donlesia said, “As the world is developing, women need to make their way to compete with men because they are equally capable of doing the same work.”
Her work involves Preventive Maintenance- a mechanical section concerned with ensuring that the heavy-duty trucks and Cats do not experience breakdowns easily, as frequent breakdowns would negatively impact production.