A woman professional is showing the Philippine mining industry that gender is not a hindrance to success.
Newly-installed Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) resident mine manager Cynthia Rosero shared in an interview her journey before she took over the vital position in the company.
Cynthia hails from Davao City. She earned her mining engineering degree at the Cebu Institute of Technology, graduating as cum laude in 1992. After passing the licensure examination for mining engineers, she applied for a job at RTNMC as a junior mining engineer.
“At that time noong naka-graduate ako wala pa tumatanggap, sa Rio Tuba lang sa mining. Kasi mga babae, dati hindi pa tinatanggap noon ang babae, kaya napunta ako sa Rio Tuba,” she said.
She started by preparing short-range mining plans and pit mapping works to monitor pit advance. From 1992 to 1996 as a junior engineer, she handled the production statistics and assisted in research and study efforts.
Since 1992 to present, Cynthia has been an employee of RTNMC and rose from the ranks as Mine Planning Engineer, Grade Control Engineer, Senior Mining Engineer, Chief Mine Engineer and to Division Manager.
In her last position before her promotion in September as resident mine manager, she was supervising four managers; preparing annual planned production targets and budget of the company and related works.
Cynthia said that one of the things she is most proud of is helping to maintain the operation of RTNMC.
“Kami ang nagba-budget, kung ano ang minahin mula sa pagmina hanggang sa pag-design. Under ko ýong gumagawa ng nag-conceptualize ng mining rehab na kakaiba rin sa lahat. Ginaya naming yong contour ng lupa, ibig sabihin ay ýong shape, pinanatili namin yong shape ng bundok,” she said.
Cynthia said that one of her key projects is the successful GP-4 mining rehabilitation that was mined out in 2008. She said that after they economically mined nickel in the area, their team successfully rehabilitated the area.
Challenges and advantages of being a female leader
One of the major challenges she encountered was bearing her three children during the span of working at RTNMC.
“Sa tingin ko sa advantage naman ng babae, siguro matiyaga lang ýong babae. Patient, mas oriented talaga ýong mga babae against sa mga kasamahan before na mga lalaki. Iyon ang advantage, ang maganda sa time ko noon, yong boss ko ay nakita niya nong pumunta siya sa Japan na nagtatrabaho ang mga babae kaya na-hire ako,” she said.
It was only their department before in mine engineering that there were samplers and field workers who were female.
As of now, being the leader of the operation, she said that she also applies the equality she experienced.
“Ngayon kinukuha ko, wala kaming pinipili. Sa engineering makikita mo na marami na nagma-mining engineering. Wala kaming pinipili basta pasok sa qualification, lahat ng kailangan namin, kinukuha namin,” she said.
In comparison to the old societal culture wherein fewer opportunities were given to women, Cynthia said that it can be observed nowadays that women have now proven their capabilities in the field.
Chances are now given to women to do equal tasks and prove what skills and potentials they have in their workplaces.
“Sa Rio Tuba halos marami kaming mga female na mataas ang posisyon, mga senior manager like sa safety, envi, HR (human resource), legal. Konti na lang sa amin ýong may mga lalaki, halos ang mga nagli-lead ay mga babae na. Pero hindi namin inaano ang mga lalaki pero ýong kaya rin naman tapatan ng mga babae,” she said.
Cynthia believes it is a good thing that RTNMC practices an equal opportunity policy.
What she envisions as a leader
“Meron lang kaming tatlo ano lang kami, pangalagaan ang environment, ang people din at saka syempre ýong economy. Mag-continue pa rin si RTN sa mga challenges like different nickel prices, sa government regulations ngayon na maka-survive pa rin si RTN,” she said.
Cynthia said that RTNMC also pushes the ‘training center’ that aims to train people and even the local workforce.
“Kahit wala na si RTN, meron pa rin silang pangkabuhayan, more on sustainability na makapagtrabaho rin sila. Hindi lang sa RTN o sa group ng Nickel Asia (corporation) pero sa iba pa na companies pa rin. Iyon ang pwede namin gawin para makatulong pa rin sa community,” she said.
Cynthia is now 50 and married to Elmo Rosero who is currently an officer-in-charge division manager mines. She is affiliated with the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers, the Cebu Institute of Technology Alumni Association and the Asian Institute of Management Alumni Association-Philippine Chapter.