Written by Dr Patience Mpofu
I am a former Vice President of an Australian listed mining company, a Global Mining Sustainability Thought Leader (ESG), and an Executive Leadership Coach and STEM advocate. i have now turned my 25-year trailblazing career in mining into empowering and paving the way for other women coming up against the same barriers I experienced on my way to success.
In 2019, I won CEO Global Most Influential Woman in Mining in Business and Government in South Africa and Southern Africa Regional awards. In 2020, I won the CEO Global continental award for the mining sector in Africa. I am a member of the invite-only IWF Australia Chapter and I am the G100 Global Chair for Sustainable Mining (ESG). I currently live with her son William, between Sydney, Australia and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Inspired To Write
The journey of sharing my personal story started in April 2018, when I had a near-death experience due to altitude on a family holiday in Africa. For the first time, my niece Thembelihle, who was 14 years old at that time, asked me, ‘Why are you working in the mining industry, Auntie? Isn’t that a job for men? Sounds like a tough job. Why don’t you work somewhere where it’s easy?’
As I reflected on my career and leadership journey, I narrated my story to my family, who were all curious to know. They were inspired and told me that I should share my knowledge with the world to encourage more women in STEM. At that moment, Thembelihle decided that she would pursue her GCE Cambridge A levels with STEM-related subjects.
Women In STEM
I thought to myself that if I could inspire a young girl and open her eyes to the vast opportunities that STEM-related subjects have to offer, imagine how many more girls I could inspire by publishing a book. I put the idea of writing a book aside at the time, but a year later I was accepted by the acclaimed IWF Fellows Program in August 2019 and the idea came back. This book is therefore part of my IWF legacy project. Below is a summary of my story..
The book is a compelling and inspirational memoir filled with profound stories, wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about succeeding in the tough, male-dominated mining industry for over 25 years.
Giving women every opportunity to make headway in STEM industries, Amazon best-selling new book entitled “Unleashing My Superpowers” is a notable screenshot of the ingenuity and perseverance of an outlier. After a near-death experience inspired her to lift others to professional greatness, the author went on to win multiple awards in Africa for her achievements in the mining industry.
Dr Patience Mpofu’s Life and Career
Patience shares how she left her mark on this industry and won several awards for it in Africa. Patience tells her unique story of how her upbringing in a Lemba (black Jew) tradition shaped her belief system, which led to her embarking on a STEM career. She rose above many challenges and traumatic experiences, from not feeling good enough as a child, almost drowning while in primary school, losing her father and then becoming a mother at the age of 21.
Offering her hard-won knowledge in the book and through her PPP Academy, she asks women to lean in and notice emerging opportunities. Industries like mining that are increasingly incorporating ESG considerations in their investment strategies and embracing digital methods will create a competitive advantage benefitting women in STEM roles. As AI takes over, no longer will these industries require strong men. Now is the time to prepare for change.
The book release is part of Dr. Mpofu’s Legacy Project as one of the 36 women selected by the IWF Fellows program worldwide. She said, “I am passionate about empowering women and girls in STEM. I feel the urgency to impact in this arena. I hope that they will find a footing in the lessons I’ve learned the hard way over the last 25-years in the mining industry.”
Unleashing My Superpowers Academy
In addition to the book, Dr. Mpofu offers the Unleashing My Superpowers Academy. It helps women in STEM succeed in the workplace with low-cost subscription fees up to the premium Executive Leadership Coaching. It also focuses on inspiring young girls to study STEM through various programs.
For more information, i would like to invite you to visit my book website at
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