Dassault Systèmes proudly celebrates International Women’s Day 2022 with our Women in Mining series. We are committed to encouraging a diverse workforce and an inclusive environment in which truly disruptive innovations can be imagined and delivered.
In the first of our series, we speak to Mirtha Yuliasti, GEOVIA Industry Process Specialist at Dassault Systèmes in Indonesia. Find out what inspires her to excel in her role.
Tell us about your current role and your career progression with Dassault Systèmes.
I’m part of the GEOVIA Industry Process specialist team. I look after the certification and enablement processes for the GEOVIA Sales Team, who provide advisory services and technical support in integrated geology and mine planning solutions for Indonesian mining companies.
Mining is not seen as a “usual” career choice for women. Why did you choose mining as a career?
Well, it was somehow unexpected. I would describe it as “serendipity” because at first, I didn’t really know what mining was about. But I’m a pretty adventurous person, so when I was deciding what major I wanted to take in the university, I was thinking about a job that allows me to travel while working. I met a senior in high school, who introduced me to the mining profession. He told me that when you work in a mining company, you get to travel to exotic places and you will have good prospects, as there were not many women in the industry. And mining industry has been one of the key sectors contributing to Indonesia’s economic growth for the past 20 years.
When I actually started work in the mining environment, I came to love the nature of mining engineering. It was somewhat unexpected, but I’d say that I wouldn’t change it, even if I have to choose again.
What are the challenges that you have experienced in working in the mining sector?
I was raised in a family of two girls, so there was only me and my sister. Growing up, we were always told that we can accomplish anything as long as we work hard for it and give our best, regardless of gender.
I didn’t actually see a particular job only ‘fitting’ a specific gender at first. But when I started to work in mining, I came to realize that there were people who were initially doubtful of my capability just because I’m a woman, especially working in an environment where the male is the dominant gender. I didn’t let this discourage me because I believe that hard work always pays off.
One important lesson that my parents taught me is to always respect people, no matter where they come from. You can always learn a thing or two from anyone. As a mining engineer, you have to go working in a mine site to get field experience, and you meet with people who have spent all their working years onsite – the coal mines, the iron ore mines, etc. So even though I spent more time than them studying in school. I realize that I have so much more to learn from people with hands-on experience in the field. They are truly worthy of respect.
What are you passionate about in your work and find most rewarding?
Through working at Dassault Systèmes, I got to travel to many places and I’ve met many different people. I came to realise that what I really love is teaching, which is sharing my knowledge with people in the field, and in turn, learning from their hands-on perspectives which you don’t get to learn about in school.
To give you some background, I started out as a mining engineer 18 years ago in a coal mine in East Kalimantan. Then by chance, my work as a mining contractor led me to my job with Dassault Systèmes, which is where started to teach people how to use the GEOVIA software to do their job better. It got me thinking of coming up with the best way to put the teaching content together and to deliver the training effectively.
What I find most rewarding is when people find that the knowledge I share with them is able to help them do their job better..
What is your advice to young women starting out in their careers?
I would say that it is natural to feel intimidated and fearful, being a woman working in a mining industry. But don’t let fear stop you from moving forward and do not let others define who you are.
My parents always says in Bahasa Indonesia, “Hasil Tidak Akan Mengkhianati Usaha”, which means that if you work hard, your hard work will pay off.
As the master of your own destiny, I believe that if you set your heart on an objective and dedicate your best effort to it, you will achieve your goals in life. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from as long as you believe in yourself, you will prevail.