By Charndré Emma Kippie
Chelsea Rebelo is a dual national (UK-RSA) who is in her early-career stages as a geoscientist, at ROSOND – providing fast, efficient, safe and cost-effective drilling and grouting services to mining and exploration industries throughout Africa.
Chelsea has experience in greenfield-base metal exploration (Zambia), and drill programme management (South Africa). She also holds expertise in field mapping, structural and lithological interpretation, borehole siting, drill site management, core logging and sampling, operating laboratory equipment and interpreting data from: SEM, LA-ICP-MS, Mass Spec for stable isotopes, and thin section analysis.
As ROSOND’s Geotechnical Project Geologist, for the SADC region, she exemplifies a truly great project manager in terms of: project costing, tender compilation, production reporting, client liaison duties, and adhering to project timelines.
What got you into the field you’re currently in?
Earth science in general has been my interest since I was 15 years old. I double majored in ocean & atmosphere science as well as geology but chose the latter because I was more curious about that.
What excites you the most about your role?
The scope for growth and diversification of my skills to meet the changing demands of the world of exploration and geotechnical drilling. Also, every day is different!
How are you contributing positively to our economy?
Everywhere ROSOND works, we commit to as much local employment as possible. People are up-skilled through intensive training programmes. So for one, ROSOND is a great contributor toward enhancing people who drive the economy. Additionally, ROSOND is showing what’s possible in terms of continuously improving drilling technology to increase the scale of insight and info gained from exploration drilling. If we can help in the betterment of understanding of natural resources, all the better for our economy and the investors therein.
Do you think your field is diverse in terms of gender equality?
The diversity in the drilling industry is certainly growing, and ROSOND is making great strides to improve diversity in our own workforce. We are very proud of the women who have been recruited and trained as drill crew in the Northern Cape area of operations. We hope this sets a good example to the rest of our industry about what is possible if a company sincerely values the benefits of improving diversity. Not only is it the right thing to improve at work, but diversity is good for business – and many studies actually prove this.
What are your top 3 tips for success?
- See yourself as a professional and a student simultaneously. Always keep learning and share your learnings with those who are interested.
- There are still people in the industry who aren’t used to working with women that do technical work. These people will get in your way or completely ignore your inputs. Don’t waste your time on them. Find allies, male and female, in the workplace and via professional networking, with whom you can build a professional relationship and share in their inspiration and wisdom.
- Your workplace must respect and make provisions for the things that women need to function properly in their role. Find a workplace that ensures the following to make sure you can succeed at work.
What have been some major obstacles in your career, as a woman, and how did you overcome them?
I once had a male senior who told me I would never make it as a woman in the natural resources industry. It affected my confidence for a long time, but I eventually realised that his comment said more about his character than my abilities. A lot of the challenges I’ve faced, as a woman, came about as a result of bad behaviour and limited beliefs of others; they are the ones who need to overcome themselves, I believe. I have compassion for them, though, as they need to free up their mindset more. I am happy to be a woman in this career and am grateful for a strong support system.
What are your goals for the future?
To gain more digital skills, run a marathon, and to keep developing good relationships with my peers and clients.
What important/life-changing books have you read?
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
- The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B Peterson
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