WIM: Women’s Month Interview – Raksha Naidoo 

We kick off the first of three interviews that we will be conducting over the course of Women’s Month. This is in celebration of the achievements of highly successful women in the mining sector. Our goal is to showcase the opportunities available and to inspire women to reach their dreams despite any odds.

Poster with photo of Raksha Naidoo.

We would like to introduce Raksha Naidoo – Managing Director at AMIS. Her career spans over 15 years starting as a laboratory development chemist in the mining sector. Her expertise and hard work were acknowledged through several promotions including managerial roles and now Managing Director for a global manufacturer of Certified Reference Materials for the mining and exploration industries. Below is the transcribed interview.

Interview with Raksha Naidoo

What do you love most about your job?

Two things actually.  Firstly, the people – I have a really amazing team; we are a family actually.  They push me beyond my limits every day and continue to motivate and inspire me to be better.  Secondly, my job is combination of technical and commercial business aspects.  And I thoroughly enjoy the mix of the two, as it has allowed me to learn so much on a daily basis.  But I am also a nerd at heart – and I still love being able being to still have technical debates and discussions.

What do you think are the most important attributes of successful women today?

I believe a clear focus; hard work and a positive attitude are very important for any of us to achieve our goals.  I think it is also important for us to embrace the challenges that we face.  Some of my greatest lessons have come from failure or difficult situations, and although it might not be clear at the time, those lessons give us the learnings that we need to find the confidence to pave our own path to success.  I think it is also important for women to maintain our own unique femininity, no matter what.  Just find the right shade of lipstick to compliment your hard hat and move forward!

What can women in leadership positions do to support others in the industry?

I think we must do literally that – support each other.  I think we need to be having more conversations about our experiences, challenges, thoughts and fears – but honest and real conversations so that people can learn from them.  Formal or informal mentorship programs can be hugely beneficial as well, as well as joining different groups or networking platforms.  I personally love the work that Women in Mining South Africa do, as they have created such a platform for women.

What advice can you give that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organisations?

Always work harder than anyone else around you. Always try and make the right choices no matter how difficult this may be. And most importantly always stay true to yourself.

I think it is also important to remember that the journey is not easy.  And that’s okay!  We will stumble, and we will definitely fall.  But don’t wait for anyone else to pick you up.  Pick yourself up, have a cry if you need to, then touch up your mascara, learn the lesson and try again.

What do you predict for the future in mining for women?

I believe that with every day, more women will find their voice and inner strength, and will fight against gender biases to equalize the playing fields.  I think change is here, and the more we support and empower each other, the more we will be bringing the change ourselves.

Raksha has kindly agreed to avail herself today to answer a few questions. Head over to our Linkedin page to pose your question.


NB: You have until 19th August 10am to pose your question.