The year 2019 has seen many “women movements” on various issues ranging from equal pay and gender respect to anti-teenage brides and climate change, and the #MeToo movement.
So, when Engineer Cynthia E. Rosero of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. (RTN), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), was conferred the title of “the most empowered woman in mining,” she considered the award more as a ‘memo’ directed to various audiences.
“I cannot take the title all to myself because there are many empowered women in the industry, so please consider it as a message to all—that women in mining are rising to positions of influence and responsibility where they can ensure that responsible mining in the country is strictly executed,” says Rosero, who goes by the initials CER.
Recently, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the agency in charge of the “administration and disposition” of mineral lands and mineral resources in the country, recognized Cynthia being the first-ever woman Resident Mine Manager in the Philippines, the highest position in an operating mine that, since time immemorial, has been held, as if exclusively, by men.
“There is no shortage of women in the mine sites; we even have a lady driver who won in a Volvo international truck driving competition a few years back and there was a lady skipper. We have many lady engineers, women environment activists, and lady economic and business leaders, holding critical roles in various mining operations at NAC, I just happen to represent all of them in this award,” CER shares.
CER’s life is the stuff of stories a mother tells a daughter. She took up mining engineering because she thought it would be easier to find a job after she graduated with the degree. Never for a moment did she doubt that she would not become one, determined as she was determined to become an engineer.
“It was mind conditioning, a mindset” she says.
Rosero, or “Maam CER” as she is now fondly called, is determined to help promote the good face of mining and confessed that she thinks it would be easier to do this because she is a woman. She is taking advantage of the fact that a woman is traditionally the symbol of responsible guardianship and of nurturing, which could be used to help improve further the image of mining in the Philippines.
“People who have doubts about the existence and the viability of responsible mining are usually uninformed or misinformed and we should use the woman’s charm and our dedication and honesty to tell better stories and send out stronger messages about mining in the Philippines,” Rosero promises.
The lady manager shares that her inspiration is mining itself, with its complex challenges that can be solved not only by science but by the workings of the human heart. It is after all an industry with a social purpose.
She says: “Nickel Asia does not only provide me a job, the company reminds me every day that a society where gender equality (or equality in general) is taken seriously, is a just society, a responsible society.”
“Whatever influence I have, I will maximize to help showcase the industry so that young girls out there who love math and the environment may know that there are great opportunities waiting for them at the mine sites.”
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