Kongsamay Charlet, LXML OHS & ER Superintendent, on IWD 2023

March 20, 2023

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.

In your opinion, how can digital technology and innovation deliver greater gender equality?

 I think it all starts with education, by integrating IT into classroom curriculum. Children should be oriented and learn about treating each other with respect and dignity from a young age, knowing to help and not harass or take advantage of girls or anyone whatsoever.

In jobs you have worked in, or in areas of society, have you seen issues of equality evolve over time?

I have witnessed some promotions for females in my organization, and female truck operators have been praised and acknowledged by their male co-workers for being better at maintaining their trucks and equipment and causing fewer incidents.

What are some of the challenges you face in your role, and what have you learned from these?

At times, I feel being taken-advantage of by my opposite sex who doubt my competency, mostly with gender limitations that are visible during emergency responses and significant incidents for example. These have taught me to prove otherwise by persistently gathering experiences, always improving, and developing myself, and working with a set goal in mind. This has proven that women can do anything, and, at times, do it better than their male counterparts.

What advice do you have for women working in the mining industry to succeed in their careers?

‘Women’ (mae-gning) in the Lao language has a word that equates to ‘mother’ (mae). This means a person who is capable, holds perseverance at the heart of everything she does. Hence, use this perseverance in all aspects, be it work or personal life. I believe that with perseverance, we can break-through and achieve our goals.

Any other thoughts you have on International Women’s Day?

If we don’t want to be taken advantage by the opposite sex, we need to do our best in our role and always find ways to develop ourselves. Most importantly, we need to be able to stand on our own two feet.