Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Tebogo Mosito always knew that she wanted to start her own business. Today, Mosito is the founder of Ditsogo Projects, a 100% black women-led business that specialises in the fabrication of metal products, steel engineering and plant maintenance.
Mosito has received much recognition over the years, being awarded as one of the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining, as well as being a finalist in the Standard Bank Top Women Awards 2018 in the category of Fast Growing Women-Owned Organisations.
Mosito was born in a rural village in Rustenburg and spent her childhood in close proximity to the platinum mines, nurturing an interest in mining from a young age. Despite observing how male-dominated the industry was, and still is, Mosito entered into it without fear, seeing the world of mining as an industry that was brimming with opportunities for women.
This is a belief that she maintains today.
“Women need to believe in their abilities,” she says. “There is a lot of support and opportunities being offered to women. They must just not be afraid to take [them].”
She believes that many women fear taking this path, as girls are often not encouraged to pursue engineering and similar subjects while they are growing up. This mentality is changing and Mosito is playing an active and important role in enabling more women to upskill themselves in these areas.
At the end of 2019, shortly before Covid-19 brought our lives to a standstill, Mosito registered Temo Foundation, a non-profit organisation that supports entrepreneurs in rural communities.
The foundation proved to be invaluable during the height of the pandemic, when most businesses and schools were forced to migrate their services online. This put a large portion of the population who did not have access to digital facilities at an immense disadvantage.
The focus of the Temo Foundation quickly became to “help rural entrepreneurs navigate through Covid-19 and stay in business”. The foundation also provided resources, such as data, to schools in rural areas that otherwise would not have access to essential devices and online platforms.
The work of the Temo Foundation enabled several entrepreneurs to keep their businesses afloat during a time that would have likely forced them to close their doors.
The Temo Foundation is a testament to the value Mosito places on community and providing support to one another. Within her own business, she found that getting support from a strong network of women leaders was key to its survival.
Mosito believes that the exchange of knowledge and experience should not only be among leaders.
“An important quality as a leader is to learn from your employees,” she says. “You must be willing to engage and share knowledge with employees.”
As a person who works with a diverse range of people, she emphasises the importance of understanding their backgrounds in order to be an empathetic leader.
Opportunities for women in mining have increased exponentially, however, despite how far the industry has come, Mosito believes that there is still a noticeable wage gap.
“We must work towards closing this gap and providing a safe working environment for women. The pandemic had a huge impact on women and there needs to be greater support for [them], both emotionally and psychologically.”