At the end of 2018, Oyu Tolgoi LLC, which operates one of the world’s largest known copper mines in Mongolia, decided to rebrand one of their Boomer face drilling rigs and paint it pink as a gesture to show the value of women in mining.
“About two years ago, women were not legally allowed to work underground in Mongolia. The pink Boomer was symbolically important,” says Lkhamaa Yondon, Specialist External Partnerships at Oyu Tolgoi and board member at nongovernmental organization Women in Mining Resource Mongolia (WMRM).
The aim of WMRM is to create better gender balance within the mining industry while professionally developing female employees working at Oyu Tolgoi mine site. The organization helps sharpen its members’ soft skills and has a successful mentorship program. It organizes discussion-based speaker series and reaches out to students in mine-related fields and high school students.
“I brought my second child to work when he was about five months old,” says Lkhamaa Yondon. “Back then, there was no place for me to nurse him so I had to go outside. Today, we have a nursing room in the office for all
working mothers. We have paid maternity leave for six months, and mothers who have children up to one year old can work shorter hours. We are also seeing an increase in the number of women in leadership positions.”
Since the Epiroc Boomer S2 was handed over, many Oyu Tolgoi workers, both women and men, have been wearing pink shirts to show their support for women in mining.
“We want to build an inclusive community of women and men dedicated to supporting women’s pursuit of excellence. We know that we have support from many men, including our CEO and other senior leaders, and we believe in including more men in our activities,” says Lkhamaa Yondon.
Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.