Women in PGMs April Newsletter
15 April 2020 \ Aimie Keeler
As you are aware the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has meant that large gatherings and events across the world have been postponed or cancelled. Sadly, May Platinum Week is no exception to this, and we are unable to host our planned networking event. However, we wanted to share some exciting updates with you and reassure members that we will be back to hosting networking events as soon as possible.
Aimie Keeler started Women in PGMs (WiPGMs) in 2019 with the aim of growing a network for women in the PGM industry. She was joined and supported by three other women Anne Dennison, Edel Tully and Wilma Swarts. Between the four of them they organised and hosted the two networking events in 2019. Sadly, Edel left the team in the summer of 2019 following a decision to take a change in her career path. Aimie, Anne and Wilma have recently been joined by Sarah Masterson who will be supporting the Board from the USA.
In order to move forward and grow WiP in the way we would like the decision was made to formally appoint a Chairperson for the group. Wilma Swarts has kindly agreed to take on the role and will be heading up WiP as we continue to grow.
Find out more about the WiPGMs board
We are excited to announce that the LPPM has recently agreed to support the Women in PGMs initiative, working together to promote the expansion and development of women in the industry. With this collaboration, we hope to be able to enhance the initiative and provide our members with more platforms and events throughout the year from which they can network. We will shortly be opening a dedicated WiP website where you will be able to access further information.
While we appreciate the current climate poses unique challenges to the global economy, we remain fully committed to the continuing development and operation of WiPGMs. In order to do this, we will require additional resources and sponsorship which we hope to find from market participants. As part of our closer relationship with LPPM we will be working hard to market our message with individual companies to raise the WIP profile and drive sponsorship forward.
As noted above, we have sadly had to take the decision to cancel our planned May networking event for the safety of our members and others. However, as it stands, we have plans to host three more networking events in the next year including a second New York event and one in South Africa.
We will continue to plan for business as usual as far as possible and, while we acknowledge that some events may not go ahead as planned, we will look to hold networking events once it is safe for us to do so.
Support for working at home
Finally, we finish with a few tips for those currently working at home, particularly any of our members who have small children. Our founder, Aimie Keeler, is mum to two-year old twins and has compiled a list of helpful resources for those who might be struggling to juggle children and conference calls.
- You will probably all have received the usual advice on working from home, but just in case, here is the advice to ensure you stay productive and motivated:
- Stick to your usual routine, get up on time, wash and have breakfast as you would when going into the office
- If possible, have a home office somewhere that is quiet and out of the way. Obviously not everyone has access to a separate room they can use but even having a dedicated desk at the side of room for your work can help
- Practice good ergonomics by sitting at a desk with a chair where possible. Also try to have your computer screen set at the correct height using either a stand or even a pile of books works
- A separate screen, keyboard and mouse can help you maintain the correct posture, while working at a laptop can lead to slouching. (This author purchased a bundle of screen, stand and keyboard for just over £100 so it doesn’t have to break the bank!) • Try to stretch and walk around your home throughout the day
- Hold meetings with colleagues using virtual meeting rooms and video conferences. Seeing friendly faces during the day can really boost morale
For those now trying to entertain young children and work, here are a few tips and resources:
- For any of our UK mums Mini Music Makers, who are based in London, are doing a daily live stream at 10am GMT. The details can be found on their website here: http://minimusicmakers.co.uk
- For kids who need to burn off some energy, setting up an indoor activity course works wonders. We purchased a handful of plastic cones, foot markers and hand markers (search track and field markers on amazon) and set up a series of cones for them to run between, jump on, turn in a circle, clap ten times etc.
- To get 20 mins of quiet without having to worry about the mess, the water mat has proved a big hit. There are lots of versions available (google “water doodle mat”). The best bit is that because the pens just contain water it doesn’t matter if they start drawing on the walls while you are mid-email!
- My daughter is particularly keen on sitting on my knee while I try to work. I managed to find (aka appropriate from my husband) an old keyboard which I now keep near the desk. My daughter will happily sit and bash away on that while mummy uses her own keyboard to carry on working.
- Finally, and when in doubt, Peppa Pig (5 min episodes), Ben and Holly (10 min episodes), and many of the Julia Donaldson books which have been turned into mini films (~25 mins each) are currently available on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. These have been a life saver when we need 5/10/20 mins of quiet.
About the WiPGMs Network
Over the past year our network has grown to over 140 women from 15 countries representing more than 70 different organisations. With this in mind and given that the entire world is having to rethink how we work and interact due to the CoVIID-19 Pandemic, it would be interesting to hear back from network members in other locations on how they are navigating the new world we find ourselves in. Which programmes and activities keep the children occupied while you go on with your day job? If you want to know more about any of our initiatives, please do not hesitate to contact any one of the board members.
Keep safe, informed and in touch (electronically speaking)