Sunday 9 May 2021
Home      All news      Contact us      RSS      English
newtimes - 24 days ago

How female chemist is defying odds in a male-dominated field

Henriette Niragire is a chief chemist /quality control manager at LuNa Smelter, a mining company and Rwandan tin smelting plant located in Kigali. Her work involves checking the quality of all materials and products received and ensuring that those going out meet the requirements needed at the market. The mother-of-two supervises the entire laboratory procedure which, according to her, is like the heart of the company- since everything to do with smelting process depend on the laboratory results. “This is the reason why in my work, I have to be super cautious as  this is very delicate in the sense that  we don’t have to misguide the production team as their work depends on the data from the laboratory,” she says. Established in 2018 by a European Industrial Group–as Luma Holding in partnership with Rwandan Investment Group – Ngali Holdings, the company produces high-quality tin ingots. Niragire is just one of the few women who have defied odds to work in male-dominated fields and is proving that hard work and determination is what is needed to make it, in whatever career you choose to do regardless of your gender. Niragire is a chief chemist and quality control manager at LuNa Smelter. Photos./ courtesy However, according to The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda- Labour Force Survey 2018, there are still considerable gaps with women participation in the mining and quarrying sectors. For instance, women make up only 5.8 percent in the mining and quarrying sector compared to 94.2percent 14.6 percent in the construction sector compared to 85.4p percent, and 3.0 percent in the transportation and storage compared to 97.0percent. Inspiration Growing up, Niragire loved trying out things that seemed impossible or rather perceived to be hard for the girl child. While at school, she made sure she competed with the boys when it came to performing in sciences. Her parents, especially her mother, she says, were her biggest motivators. “My mother, being a teacher, encouraged me to work hard even if I felt like giving up. What I liked about her most is that she would always be on my side and encourage me even if at times I didn’t perform well. This gave me the courage to work hard so that I make her proud,” she says. After performing well in high school, she joined university and took up a course in Chemistry- with Environmental chemistry as her option. In 2016, she managed to secure a scholarship to study masters in chemistry- Analytical chemistry in South Africa. Making impact The science field, Niragire says, isn’t easy and quite often she faces hurdles of which she managed to overcome because this was something she had chosen to go with and there was no way of going back. The best part of her job she says is how she impacts and connects to everything at the company, from purchasing raw materials to exporting finished products, since the whole process involves laboratory analysis. “What keeps me moving is seeing my contribution to the growth of the company. I have contributed as an integrated management system’s (IMS) coordinator, which has led to the company’s certification for environmental quality management system as well as accreditation for their laboratory. This, she says, is something she considers a big achievement working at the company. All these are preliminary steps for any company to project a very long-term big project at an international level. She adds that working in a male-dominated field at times can make one feel out of place, especially if such an environment doesn’t value gender equality. From starting as a chemist, three years down the road, Niragire is now the chief chemist and equality control manager, which she says is something to be proud of. “Naturally, women like perfection, we should use this skill in all areas so that we can shine or even outshine others in our field of study,” she advises.


Latest News
Hashtags:   

female

 | 

chemist

 | 

defying

 | 

dominated

 | 

field

 | 

Sources