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Mining By Women: meet women from different ethnicities who have occupied their space in the industry and help Vale become a more plural company

Norhafizah Dzulkefle  
Lynn Baikie  
Aliahni Djafar  
Stella Aneto  

Throughout history, mining work has been categorized as a predominantly male-oriented sector, based on the misconception that activities involving physical effort and the use of heavy equipment were not for women. Here at Vale, we pride ourselves on working to break these stereotypes and we have women who show that mining can – and should – be done by all of them.

In the second episode of Mining By Women, a web series promoted by Vale to extol the work of women in the mining sector, 3 black female employees told their stories of overcoming difficulties exercising their functions in Brazil. Now, 4 women of different ethnicities in other Vale operations around the world - Malay, Indigenous (First Nations as it is called in Canada), Indonesia and black - share their experiences to show the power of diversity in business.

Discover the inspiring stories:

Norhafizah Dzulkefle Norhafizah Dzulkefle - Operations Analyst, Malaysia
Operations analyst Norhafizah Dzulkefle has been part of the Vale team in Malaysia for 6 years. Graduated in Civil Construction and now attending the last semester of graduation in Manufacturing Management, the professional says that she arrived at the company through the apprentice program and, right away, she already knew that this would be an opportunity that would change her life and open doors so she could develop her talents in the mining sector.

When I was selected to participate in the apprenticeship program, I knew this would change my life. Vale is my first company, where I started my career. Vale is very concerned about the well-being of its employees, especially women. In my experience, as a mother of 2 children, the 4 month maternity leave really helped me to cope and regain my mental and physical health. In addition, Vale also provides a private space of lactation room for nursing mother. These are amazing features that can be experienced by women here.”
Lynn Baikie Lynn Baikie - Process Operations Trainer, Canada
Lynn Baikie started her career at Vale 16 years ago as a plant operator. She has since worked in several areas in the company and, in 2013, found herself in the Training Department where she has the opportunity to help female employees adapt to the reality of the mining world. Baikie says that she has seen great advances in the sector since she started her career, but points out that there is still room for improvement. Lynn’s advice for other women who want to enter the mining industry is to remain positive and to remember the important value they bring to the business. Women in the industry are still faced with unique challenges as the industry remains male dominated and it’s important that women are well prepared and supported in order to overcome these challenges. By training other employees, Lynn Baikie has helped the company through this evolution process.

I've been working in the mining industry for 16 years and I think one of the biggest motivations for me is to help train new employees in their Mill Operator roles; especially when I train female employees and they say they are so happy to have a woman train them; because they can ask questions without judgment and feel much more comfortable.”
Lynn Baikie Lynn Baikie - Process Operations Trainer, Canada
Aliahni Djafar Aliahni Djafar - Geologist, Indonesia
Aliahni started her mining career by overcoming several barriers and showing female strength to show her value. The geologist joined PT Inco, later becoming PT Vale, in a recent graduate program, where she was the youngest candidate in the process. She was the only woman to make the field visit during the selection and later became the first geologist in the Mining Department.

Before PT Vale, I had really bad experiences like verbal harassment, when other employees teased me while I spoke on the radio, there were no special transportation for female whose working afternoon and night shift. Fortunately, Vale is strict with any kind of harassment, and provide us LV direct in front of our house. Having more women is very important for us to create a more comfortable environment, pointing out problems and solutions. Women participating in the workforce can increase productivity and innovation. Training the subconscious to prejudice is very important.”
Stella Aneto Stella Aneto - Senior Talent Acquisition Analyst, Canada
Stella Aneto, originally from Nigeria, started her journey at Vale two years ago working in Toronto, Canada. The human resources professional “stumbled” into mining – as she recalls with good humor.as she was looking for her next career move that would allow her to continue to have a positive and meaningful impact on the employee experience.. Since then, Stella has been helping create a more welcoming and inclusive Vale by contributing to the creation and implementation of talent acquisition solutions that help to attract and recruit more diverse talent. Having previously experienced challenges due to her gender and ethnicity, Stella says:

When I joined Vale, I was worried about how I would fit in as a woman, black and immigrant. Looking back now, I realize I had nothing to worry about. Everyone has been very open, warm and genuinely interested in my ideas and suggestions. I'm not afraid to ask questions, especially about the mining business, which is still so new to me.”
Stella Aneto Stella Aneto - Senior Talent Acquisition Analyst, Canada

In the second season of the web series Mining By women, Vale will address the themes of pioneering, ethnic-racial diversity, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+, young talents and leadership, through the voice of the women who build these chapters in the company's history. Throughout each episode, knowing each successful example, from operation to leadership, the professionals show that mining is an industry for everyone.

The web series is part of Vale's commitment to doubling female representation by 2030, operating in an increasingly inclusive environment. The videos were produced during the pandemic, respecting all prevention and social distancing recommendations.

Discover more stories from inspiring women like Aliahni, Lynn, Norhafizah and Stella in Season 2 of the series Mining By Women.


Mining By Women: meet women from different ethnicities who have occupied their space in the industry and help Vale become a more plural company