We recently spoke to Cristel Corimayhua Cruz, Training and Support Supervisor for MineARC Systems in Peru.
Cristel has been part of the MineARC team for over a decade and spends much of her time travelling to sites across South America to conduct refuge chamber servicing and product training. She has watched the mining industry change over the years to one that is becoming more inclusive and more progressive. However, she states that there is still a way to go, particularly for women.
“The technology attracted me”, reflects Cristel when asked what drew her to work with MineARC initially. Still, when prompted further, it is clear her true passion lies in safety education. “I like to train the teams on-site in the operation and use of our refuge chambers. There is always satisfaction at the end of each training session”.
“I like the fact that I can travel anywhere and provide critical support. This position has taken me to sites across Peru, as well as in countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Mexico.”
Starting her career with MineARC as a translator in 2008, Cristel has grown as quickly as the business has – moving into roles such as sales support, service technician and most recently, Training and Support Supervisor. “I have grown professionally and acquired more responsibilities. I oversee service for my region, and my sales background helps me advise clients on how they can improve safety with our innovative products.”
The Industry Advancements
Over the years, Cristel has watched the industry work towards a healthier and safer environment for personnel; and compliments her clients for taking action and enforcing change. “I like the commitment our clients have to their personnel,” she says. “I think mining in South America has greatly improved safety through adopting new standards and technologies”.
She does acknowledge that there is still more work to be done. “There are various regulations from around the world that many South American mines draw upon. However, there are still important areas relating to refuge chambers missing in some,” she says.
The Gender Topic
“The percentage of women in mining has increased compared to many years ago,” states Cristel, as we move on to the topic of gender equality in mining. “In the past, sites didn’t allow women to go underground due to superstitions of bad luck – this still exists in parts of South America but is far less common. I think the creation of more job opportunities is providing women with greater access to the mining industry, and I believe most companies are creating better initiatives for the wellness of women.”
“More and more, we see across different countries women working in diverse areas: as geologists, environmental engineers, heavy vehicle operators, hauler drivers, mechanics, welders, electricians, and safety managers. I have seen and met many great women at mine sites strong and empowered.”
When asked what advice she would give someone starting in mining? “I would like to tell them the same advice I received from my partners when I started: Be yourself.”