The love for nature saw young Lemogang Pelaelo choosing Geology as a major after completing her one year BSc induction course back in 2001 at the University of Botswana. “I didn’t want to be stuck to an office job,” she said. She was introduced to mining during her fourth year of study in 2004 when she carried out a practical project during an attachment at Tati Nickel mine. She admits that at first it was a bit frustrating when she got into the industry only to find there were no female mentors to see her through the ropes. After the graduated in 2005 Tati Nickel mine employed her. She worked there for five years before joining Debswana in 2010. In her current position as a Project Geologist at Orapa/Letlhakane mines, Pelaelo is tasked with deposit assessment – that is evaluating rock deposits to tell what they have and defining the resources found for future use. She is one of the few women in her section but says looking around she sees a lot of improvement compared to the time when she started off back in 2004 at Tati Nickel Mine.
A number of sections are now headed by females and the work too is now a lot easier, owing to the use of technology. She, however, attributes most improvement as far as female advancement and growth is concerned to Debswana leadership. Pelaelo says she has benefited positively from the encouragement and motivation offered by female figures working in Debswana in different fields who have worked and been successful in their respective positions. This has also ignited an interest in her to see the number of women working in the mine growing, hence she is a member of Women in Mining committee at ODM where she among other things contribute towards helping Debswana to grow the number of women in mining. Pelaelo believes so far she is coping and being a woman in a male dominated field has not by any means been a hindrance. She declares boldly - “If you cannot raise your voice against the voice of a man, work hard and your work will do it for you,” she says.