Life at PiP Stories

Life at Partners in Performance is fast-paced, challenging and supportive. But don’t just take our word for it – hear what life is like, directly from our team.

“Be resilient and don’t let anyone tell you this isn’t an environment for women” – Carmen’s story

At Partners in Performance, we pride ourselves on attracting, retaining and developing the very best talent around the world. With that, we recognise the importance of building a workplace that is welcoming, inclusive and promotes a sustainable lifestyle. We’re focused on four key areas to help our people unleash their potential, both in and out of work:

  • Unleashing flexibility

    Everyone’s needs are different when it comes to balancing work and personal life. Our goal is to ensure each person is given the resources and flexibility to make that balancing act work for them. In some regions this means offering additional short-term unpaid leave, allowing a total of six or eight weeks of annual leave. Whether it’s taking a ‘career break’ to fulfill personal goals such as travelling the world or having the ability to work from home to spend more time with family, we work with each person to put in place the best solution for their lifestyle.

  • Unleashing family

    If expecting a new family member or serving as a primary caregiver, we want to make life as easy as possible. We do this through paid parental leave (up to 16 weeks for Primary Caregiver and 3 weeks for Secondary Caregiver) and offering ways to balance work and family commitments. In some situations, where partners and family members need to be together and there is a requirement to travel on engagement, we work with them on a case-by-case basis to find a solution that works.

  • Unleashing diversity

    Diversity isn’t just a buzzword - it’s vital to our culture, policies and systems. We recognise that diversity is imperative to a great work environment, and it’s part of what makes our people so interesting to work with. Our ethnic, gender, religious, political or sexual orientations may be different, but it’s these differences that allow us to bring new and unique ideas to the table. Whether it’s working with our senior women to support women in the workplace, or reviewing our hiring practices, we are continuously striving to improve our initiatives in this area.

  • Unleashing inclusiveness

    As part of our extensive internal training, we strive to ensure every person is aware of what it means to be inclusive and how unconscious bias can affect those around them. We actively coach our team so they understand the importance of their words and actions being fair and fact-based.

 

Now hear from our team

Carmen Schlechter shirt

 

Meet Carmen Prozesky, a Manager from our Africa office. Carmen joined us in 2016 and has driven positive change and lasting impact for a range of mining clients across Africa. She shares some of the highlights her career and how speaking up will help other women in the industry.

 


 

What type of work do you do for the mining sector?

Since starting at Partners in Performance, I’ve worked on a range of mining engagements, including business improvement, cost reduction and budget modelling. On one engagement I was the only consultant working hand-in-hand with the client to set up a financial modelling tool to help them drive value throughout the course of the year. Together with the client team, we created a tool that was used across their eleven international sites to manage costs against budget – helping them achieve a $50/oz reduction. That was a very rewarding experience – to be the sole person working with the client to achieve that kind of positive result.

Carmen_on site

What has been the most meaningful moment in your career so far?

For me, it’s seeing the behavioural change in the client team as they start to see the impact of our tools and methodologies. To see someone go from being a sceptic about another group of consultants coming to their mine, to seeing the value and becoming a co-partner in implementing changes themselves. Getting to go on the journey with clients and helping to drive this sort of positive change is incredibly satisfying.

 

What have been the biggest challenges of your professional life as a woman in mining?

Working as a female consultant in mining isn’t always easy. I’m grateful that my team has created an environment where it is safe for us to speak up and raise our concerns. I’ve seen firsthand how the leadership team listens to these concerns and puts actions in place to ensure our working environments are safe and respectful.

The firm has also been supportive of my ‘new role’ as being a mother to my little girl. They offered me a digital consulting role enabling me to work from home while still being challenged mentally. It’s great to work for a firm that genuinely cares about providing these sorts of opportunities to their female consultants.

 

What would you like to see change for women in mining (both in the region and more broadly)?

I’d like to see the industry become more accommodating to pregnant women and mothers with young children. And understanding that in this time of your life your body is put under a lot of strain and even though there is nothing wrong with your “brain”, a stressful work environment can have a negative impact on your health, or that of your unborn baby. It starts with creating a safe and open culture where women can talk about these challenges without fear of how this will affect our career progression.

2019.09 Africa Women in Consulting Meeting - Sept 2019 (5)

What is your advice for the next generation of women considering a career in mining?

Be resilient and don’t let anyone tell you that this is not an environment for women. As females we bring a lot of unique value to work through our different perspectives, “EQ” and work-ethic (to name a few) – things that are really needed in the mining industry.

2019.04 Africa Client meeting - David Slade, Christine, Wyand with clients Noah Baltz, Ali and Carmen

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