WiPGM Newsletter August 2022

Aug 2022  Wilma Swarts

Dear WiPGM subscribers, 
While it has been quite a while since we engaged with you electronically, we are happy to confirm that so far, in 2022, we have seen many of you in person. First, at our flagship event in London in May, then at the superb IPMI Conference in June in Orlando and at our Brainstorming Breakfast in South Africa in July. Is it just us, or has 2022 zipped through the first half of the year at a supersonic pace? Perhaps after two years of virtual sessions and working from home, we are finding it a little more challenging to adjust to the in-person engagements.

Aside from celebrating our third year of existence, our member portal is also coming up to its first anniversary. We now have 80 members who have signed up for the WiPGM charter, intending to actively participate in developing the PGM industry, their skills and those of other women within the sector. We have also made significant progress following feedback from our members on the shape of a mentor/mentee programme, and we look forward to developing this programme in the coming months. In addition, we have also gained excellent traction with our regional chapters, with new members joining the committees, helping us to put together more local activities and outreach programmes and strengthening the depth and talent within our organisation.

Finally, we are so proud to announce that we have gained a new global sponsor, Gerald Group. We are excited about this new sponsorship which enables us to create more frequent engagement opportunities for our network.

New Global Sponsor!

We are delighted and grateful that Gerald Group has agreed to become a global sponsor of the Women in PGMS network initiative. 

Patricia Nikolopoulos, Gerald Group’s Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Group’s Board of Directors, said, “As we celebrate the Group’s sixtieth year of successful metals trading, we believe that a diverse and talented organisation is essential to our continued success and growth. While there are more women working in the metals value chain today, we recognise that there is still more to be done, and we look forward to working with WiPGMs and other sponsors to raise awareness and to help attract more female talent to our industry.” Gerald Group has forty percent women in its commodity trading business and women comprise forty-five percent of the Group’s management.

About Gerald Group
Gerald Group aims to contribute to world trade and economic development in a sustainable and responsible manner. Founded in 1962 in the U.S. and headquartered in the U.K, the Group is the world’s oldest and largest independent and employee-owned metals trading house. Gerald is a dedicated and trusted partner to leading miners and processors, industrial consumers and financial institutions. The Group operates trading hubs in Shanghai, Stamford and Morges for the merchanting of non-ferrous, ferrous and precious metals, and related concentrates and raw materials. Gerald’s global footprint, strong risk management, expert market intelligence, experienced and innovative trading desks, combined with logistics, storage and structured finance solutions, are complemented by strategic relationships, enhancing the business’ capability to provide customers with a diverse and steady supply of resources. Gerald employs a multinational workforce with a strong focus on gender diversity and inclusion. For more in the company go to https://www.gerald.com

Our Events

 May Hybrid Event – Fortnum & Mason, London
What a fantastic event; we had 60 in-person attendees and 179 people online. It was our first opportunity to meet so many of you face to face after more than two years of peering at each other from behind our computer screens. Additionally, we could not have asked for a more powerful team of women to speak on shaping the future of PGMs. Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, Liz Rowsell, Director of Corporate Research at Johnson Matthey and Svea Scherleithner, Head of Sustainability at Heraeus, gave us first-hand insights into the challenge and opportunities they grapple with daily.

Natascha’s passion and clear vision of future-proof PGM mining, often unfairly judged as a dirty industry, is truly inspirational. With Liz at the helm of research of new PGM applications, there is no doubt that future development will be done from a holistic perspective. Liz demonstrated how design now comprehensively includes end-of-life. The process calls upon and makes room for a broad spectrum of voices. Svea’s clarity of purpose and strength of conviction showed that Heraeus’ journey towards net zero is in competent hands. An inspiration for all of us.

 June, 46th IPMI Conference, Orlando
Founded in 1976, the International Precious Metals Institute, with over 600 members worldwide, is the preeminent trade association for the precious metals industry. WiPGMs was honoured to speak at the Women in IPMI gathering. We are excited about programmes that work towards the inclusion and development of women in the industry and look forward to finding ways of collaborating and supporting the IPMI’s initiative.

July, Brainstorming Breakfast, South Africa
Kirthanya and her committee hosted a brainstorming breakfast in July. Members spoke about some obstacles and challenges they encountered in their careers. They reflected on how we can shape our regional outreach programmes to address specific challenges and opportunities within the region. We are also grateful to the Petro du Pisani, Women in Mining chair, who participated in the session and shared some of her thoughts and insights.

Members Portal Update

Twelve months since our launch, we have 80 members that have enlisted. We are feverishly busy developing the framework for the mentor programme. We are happy to report that many of our members have offered to be part of this programme. We have 41 members across the globe who have indicated that they would happily set aside time to help young aspiring talent grow within the industry. Our member base is also keen to participate in conferences and panels to help shape the industry’s future.

Regional Chapters

Our regional chapters are also growing from strength to strength. Jenny Luker joined Sarah Masterson in the Americas to bolster the activities and reach. In South Africa, Nelsa Martins has joined the committee to support Kirthanya and Emma. Jenny and Nelsa have been regular contributors to our member network. Their talent and expertise will undoubtedly augment and enhance our regional activities.

Jenny Luker

Nelsa Martins

Upcoming Events

 September Hybrid Event – Bergdorf Goodman Restaurant, New York

We are excited to host a breakfast on the 13th of September at an iconic venue in New York. Sarah and Jenny are putting together an exciting panel to reflect on PGM trading this past year and what 2023 will hold for us.

 November IPMI European Conference, Lisbon

The European chapter will sponsor a panel discussion on the sustainability of PGMs and the efforts to address the CO2 footprint. Further details will follow for any of our members who would like to join the discussion.

Sponsor Acknowledgement

We thank our sponsors without whom we would not be able to achieve the reach and growth we have attained.

Last Words…

The WiPGMs platform is created for you, our members, and we always love to get your feedback on content and events that you would like to see or hear from us.

Please don’t hesitate to send us your comments/ suggestions/ ideas – you can email us at info@wipgms.com or send us a message through the website on www.wipgms.com or our various social media sites, handles below.

Please also remember to let us know if you are speaking at any conferences or events in the near future, we would love to share this with the member base and grow our member’s profiles.

Stay safe and strong until next time…
The WiPGMs Board

Member Platform

Connect • Inspire • Succeed

We are developing a member platform which allows members and other interested parties to find specific women who have specific knowledge within the PGM value chain to mentor other aspiring candidates and create helpful connections.