Young, ambitious and making a mark in the mining industry thanks to Michelin

Young, ambitious and making a mark in the mining industry thanks to Michelin
Forgiveness Mathebula

Forgiveness Mathebula recently joined the Michelin team as an Area Mining Specialist. Her appointment was celebrated widely in the organisation, which continues to make significant strides in increasing diversity and inclusion within the mining industry.

Forgiveness hails from the little underprivileged town of Barcelona in Daveyton, located in the city of Ekurhuleni. Not growing up with much, Forgiveness has always worked hard to secure a better future for herself.

She now joins an all-male team of five and says she’s excited to be part of a “high achieving organisation that is always pushing the envelope when it comes to innovation and doing better.”

Forgiveness studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pretoria and before joining Michelin as a business-to-business Account Manager for the long distance transport division, her first foray into the commercial space, she worked as graduate engineer at Timken and as a technical and sales representative at Groeneveld-BEKA, a division of Timken South Africa.

During her training at Michelin, it was identified that Forgiveness’ strengths were better suited to the mining industry.

“We are very excited to welcome Forgiveness to our team. She’s certainly a breath of fresh air and I’m excited to have a different perspective. I always say a team is like a cake, and you need to have different ingredients to make it work. At Michelin, we firmly believe in the value and power of women in mining and Forgivesness’ presence will undoubtedly contribute to our collective growth and success,” says Dawie Harmse, Mining Business Development Manager and Regional Sales Operations Manager for Michelin in the Africa, India and Middle East regions.

In her day-to-day role, Forgiveness is responsible for visiting mining sites around the country where she then develops objectives for the site.

She surveys mining vehicles, conducts site severity analyses, and reviews stock levels, all with the aim of understanding customer needs. “Mines are constantly evolving, and we need to always ensure that our products are up to standard to meet those needs. At Michelin, balancing productivity with safety is of the utmost importance to us and we are always looking for ways to balance the two while adding value for clients,” notes Forgiveness.

Talking about some of the highlights in her career so far, Forgiveness says “I didn’t realise that mining tyres are so massive! I’ve learned that you need to be very patient and consistent in mining – while things move a little slower than other industries, it’s because mining sites are very meticulous.”

“I’ll be moving to Khatu soon and I see so much untapped potential. I really want to be an ambassador for Michelin in the region and educate our stakeholders of our unmatched product performance and value.”

Forgiveness is certainly looking to make a mark in the industry and is not going to let anything stand in the way of her achieving her dreams.

Concluding on the note about why more women should consider the mining industry, Dawie notes, “Women should not let a stereotype [mining is a male dominated industry] hold them back from having a fulfilling career in in mining. I always advise people to speak to others already in the industry to gain insights.”

He also adds that there is huge growth opportunities in mining – both from a career perspective and as an industry. With the rise of electrification, development in infrastructure and energy projects and digitalisation amongst other things – skills in the mining industry are highly sought-after and those in the industry can be sure of job stability.