Disang Mongatane: Senior Ore Processing Manager
Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mine (OLDM) Senior Ore Processing Manager, Disang Mongatane – an advocate for Gender Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) – believes in equity, fairness and natural justice for all.
“Diversity and inclusion in its broad spectrum, is a fundamental part of humanity,” he states firmly.
Mongatane believes that the world consists of imbalances from a gender diversity and inclusion point of view.
“Diversity and inclusion is about correcting these imbalances, creating a work place, a world where true equity, fairness and justice are alive,” he states.
Speaking to his nomination as one of the Debswana Gender Diversity and Inclusion Advocates, he says it is an honour that provides a special feeling of recognition for not only what you do, but what you feel, believe and think is right.
“It is refreshing to know that we are all alike after all. We want the same things and we recognise one another’s views on things that matter most,” he adds.
Diversity is important to Mongatane as he believes it talks to giving all access to equal opportunities regardless of their gender, cultural orientation or religious background.
“A workplace, a home, a world where diversity is treasured and valued is a much better place because we all yearn for fairness, equity and equal justice,” Mongatane reveals that his area of work, the processing plants, still has great historical imbalances due to the way they the scope of work has been designed. He attests that sometimes the importance of evaluating whether or not there are equal opportunities, equal access and a fair and just workplace may underplayed.
As a leader in his area, one of the things he tries to do is to create time for conversations that matter to all, with an emphasis on allowing his teams to correct stereotypes for the benefit of both female and male counterparts in the work place.
On stereotypes, Mongatane notes that there are many with the common one being that the ‘the mining workplace is no place for a woman.’
He reckons that humans’ innate inadequacy in themselves often leads them into believing that they are more worthy than others, a scenario which, in his view, leads to people putting others down.
“Why else would anyone put another person down?” he asks rhetorically.
Mongatane contends that to achieve gender balance in the workplace, there needs to be reforms to get rid of the stereotype that contributes to gender imbalance. He says that acknowledging the rights of any gender and ensuring that everyone has a sense of justice in the workplace can go a long way in achieving gender parity.
Mongatane’s take on the International Women’s Day 2019 theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” is that it urges the world to begin to move towards a more equal society and this he argues, can be done by beginning to think and believe in equality. “We must build smart workplaces”
On the family front, Mongatane’s contention is that boys and girls must be taught the same values from an early age and must grow up knowing and believing in themselves, believing in their own dreams and also knowing that they can do anything they put their minds to.
“Most importantly, the family must not begin to sow misconceptions that certain things are for boys and others for girls,” he counsels.
He implores fellow Batswana not to tolerate injustices that young girls and women face, calling for zero tolerance of gender injustice by enforcing tougher penalties and swift action.