Kamilla Zhalilova: Gender equality is necessary for the development of the company
Interview for WBCMedia
Before organizing the community, we created focus groups. This was necessary in order to interview girls from extractive industry companies, to understand what their request is, whether they need such an association in Russia.
I have been a member of the Women in Mining UK community for 5 years, but 5 years ago Russia was not yet ready to create such an association. Now there is a need.
The main request from community members is a request for mentoring and coaching, networking, communication with each other. Now the industry is on the rise, knowledge is accumulating, but people lack the banal exchange of experience.
Now the community has more than 2 thousand participants, those who come to webinars and meetings. This is the official figure, but the coverage of the industry is greater. There are also men in the community, about 20% of them, they act as speakers, participants in discussions, trainings. In the community, we raise and discuss professional topics, and do not focus on women’s “things”.
We talk a lot about leadership qualities, emotional intelligence, professional levels of competence. We try to attract international experts to create high-quality professional networking.
I cannot say that there is a division into male and female. The leadership of progressive companies understands that the ESG agenda, which includes gender equality, is valuable and important for the development of companies, and contributes to the growth of investment attractiveness.
Our association not only helps girls in the industry, it also helps the industry itself, popularizes engineering professions, including among young people. One of the urgent requests from the management of companies is the lack of young personnel.
We want to make the community international and give mentoring support, the opportunity for its participants to develop professionally (especially girls from the regions who lack self-confidence), we want to help the industry attract professionals and popularize the profession.