At Metallix, a commitment to equality has been one of our key values right from day one. It’s so ingrained in our company culture that you might say it’s simply in our DNA. We help break down barriers that stop people achieving their potential, and we give all our staff the tools they need to succeed, no matter who they are.

However, precious metals and mining have traditionally been challenging industries for women to pursue careers in. Early pioneers faced stereotyping, prejudice and even legal barriers to promotion, and were routinely dismissed as being good for little more than the typing pool.

Thankfully, it seems that things are improving for women in the precious metals and mining industry. However, it’s not always plain sailing. Even today, 60 countries have restrictions in place which affect women working in mining, and even the most progressive countries have not yet achieved gender parity in terms of pay or representation in the boardroom.

At Metallix, we’re aiming to show others in the industry how things could be done. Our management team is headed up by Maria Piastre, a woman of color who provides inspirational leadership and direction to the Metallix family every day.

However, it would be all too easy to point to Maria as proof of our commitment to inclusion and equality. The truth is, it doesn’t stop at the top. Thanks to our diversity policies, which span everything from hiring and promotion to industry-leading maternity benefits and wellbeing at work, women thrive at Metallix in many different roles.

But we don’t want you to simply take our word for it. We spoke to a cross section of the ‘Women of Metallix’ to get their perspective on the company, and what it’s like to be a woman working in the metals and mining industry.

 

Sharon Bachmann has been with the company as Inside Sales Manager since 2004. She manages a team of Inside Buyers, helping them to support suppliers and customers. Sharon comments:

‘Women are still in the minority in our industry, but over the years, I have seen our numbers grow and there are now more women in leadership roles. I haven’t personally encountered obstacles, but that has more to do with the progressiveness of Metallix as a company. We hire the best person for the job and promote from within – gender is not a factor. It’s empowering to work for a company with those values.’

‘When I started here, my daughter was just three months old, and my previous company had let me go two days before I started my maternity leave. I was nervous about further discrimination but I quickly found Metallix to be a progressive and supportive company, not only to new parents and women, but to all employees regardless of their circumstances and challenges.’

Nina Daniels has been with Metallix since 1997. As PMPD Director, she organizes and manages sales campaigns and supports the purchase of precious metal bearing scrap material. Nina notes:

‘Precious metals recycling was a ‘boys club’ when I started my career with Metallix. There were very few female sales reps and it was rare for any of my customer contacts to be a woman. That’s not the case anymore. It’s commonplace now for women to have successful careers in manufacturing and the precious metals recycling industry.’

Ashley Hartman has been working as a Lab Analyst at Metallix since September 2021. She performs preliminary sample testing on sweeps in the lab. She notes:

‘I’m happy to say that I have faced no challenges working as a woman in the industry. A good proportion of our employees are women. Our talents are nurtured and Metallix strives to foster the positive aspects that all genders bring to the table.’

Justyce Davis is a Security Specialist at Metallix. Her role is to ensure that our employees, visitors and assets are safe & secure at all times. She observes:

‘My experience as a woman in the industry has been both challenging and a positive learning experience. Metallix is very supportive/encouraging of women. About two years ago, I became pregnant and was actually the first woman at Metallix to take their offer of paid maternity leave, which at the time was a brand new initiative. It was great experience to be able to bond with my baby for the first two months whilst still being paid. As a single mom, the daycare reimbursement we’re offered here is very helpful too.’

Angelica Laracuente has been with Metallix as Admin Assistant since 2014. According to Angelica:

‘The women in this industry are some tough cookies! This is the first time I’ve worked for a company like this, and to see how the women run things and handle their business in an industry that I had assumed to be male dominant is very impressive! My only obstacle as a woman working (in general) has been childcare, but once again, Metallix found a way to make things easier for me… for us!’

 

 

The final word goes to Maria Piastre, President of Metallix:

‘As a woman working in what can still often be a male-dominated industry, I know that it’s not enough for us to pay lip service to gender parity. My ultimate goal in life is to improve gender dynamics and help women compete on equal conditions. That’s why at Metallix, we look at every aspect of working life, across corporate strategy, culture and leadership, to ensure that any and all gender-based barriers are broken down for good.

‘What the women in this article contribute on a daily basis, along with the many other women in our company, is nothing short of extraordinary. If other companies follow our lead, and if the remaining barriers to working in our industry continue to be demolished, just imagine what we could achieve together.