Dr. Patience Mpofu
She is a multi-award-winning mining executive, International Women’s Forum 2018 Fellow, Global Thought Leader in sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), an Executive Leadership Coach, and Women in STEM advocate, Patience is founder and partner of Insight Mining Experts, a global platform that connects technology experts to help solve sustainability issues in the mining industry to help them meet their ESG commitments. She has more than 25 years’ global multidisciplinary industry experience in the Mining and Metals industry.
She is also the founder and CEO of Peak Performance Executive Leadership Coaching, an Academy that helps women in STEM to unleash their superpowers to succeed. Prior to founding her businesses, she was Vice President Corporate Affairs Africa of a global Australian mining company, where she led the delivery of the Africa region sustainability strategy, risk mitigation, social performance and reputation enhancement.
Previously, she also spent several years working for other global mining companies in senior technical roles in processing, mine planning, transformation, M &A, strategy and business development. Dr Mpofu has represented in important leadership forums and memberships of various industry bodies, lobbying and advocating to influence policy on the challenges facing the industry and women in mining.
In 2017 and 2018, she was exclusively invited and attended the prestigious Ministerial Symposium, which brings together more than 100 C-level mining executives and government officials, including ministers and vice ministers of mining and energy, and mining company CEOs prior to the Mining Indaba.
The Africa Mining Vision focuses on creating an inclusive and sustainable mining sector across Africa, as well as elevating the industry by tracking achievements and better communicating the important contribution of mining to the economic development of societies.
In 2017, Patience was invited by the United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, to be a member of the UN Women Global Innovation and Coalition for Change (GICC) (2017–2019), focused on accelerating and removing barriers to the advancement of women and girls in STEM.
She was recognised as one of the 36 women leaders from around the world to take part in the prestigious 2018–2019 International Women’s Forum Fellows Program. The IWF Fellow Program is a customised leadership training including Executive education components at Harvard Business School and INSEAD. In 2019, Patience was the winner of both the CEO Most Influential Woman in Business and Government in South Africa. In 2019, Patience was the winner of both the CEO Most Influential Woman in Mining in Business and Government in South Africa and southern Africa. In 2020, she was again awarded the CEO Global Most Influential Woman in Government and Business in the mining sector for Africa.
Patience is a frequent global speaker who successfully represented in key global events such as the Mining Indaba, where she launched the first Women in Mining luncheon in 2017, attracting industry influencers and keynote speakers including the Minister for Women in the Presidency and Senator for Western Australia. She was also a panellist at this luncheon, discussing challenges of diversity and inclusion in mining.
She is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion in the mining industry and helping women navigate the often-complex mining work environment to advance in their professions, especially in STEM related professions. In 2018, she was a panel speaker at the Mining Indaba Conference under Mining Sustainability, discussing key issues such as how to bridge the trust gap between mining companies and communities.
Patience now spends her days as a sustainable development mining expert, helping to advance critical sustainable development goals for mining companies, ensuring they meet ESG metrics, and as an executive leadership coach for women in STEM. Her mining experiences and as a woman in STEM has sparked a real love in Patience to use her trials and tribulations, she has navigated throughout her career to help other women have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
She uses her voice as a global sought-after speaker to get more women and, more so, male champions to help women in STEM to unleash their superpowers.
Hence why as part of her Legacy Project, she will be launching her award-winning book in August, “Unleashing My Superpowers: How to navigate and succeed in a male dominated mining workplace”.
As part of her IWF Fellows Program Legacy Project, she also successfully launched a 100-day campaign that attracted over 30 successful global women in STEM and leaders, where she interviewed them on what it takes to achieve in a male-dominated work environment.
Patience holds a Ph.D. in Minerals and Material Science from University of South Australia. Her PhD was sponsored (under P523 AMIRA) by global mining companies that included BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Iluka Resources, Anglo Platinum, Cable Sands, Era Range Uranium Mine, Newcrest Mining, Outokumpu, Tiwest Joint Venture, and DeBeers.
She subsequently published 10 international journals and conference publications and won several awards for the emergence of new knowledge that significantly improved how to sustainably improve water recovery in clay mineral waste tailings. Patience holds an Advanced Management Program from INSEAD and an MBA from Wits Business School. A dear Soul Sister who builds opportunities for all beyond the glass ceilings.