Raksha Naidoo: Enhancing Minds and Empowering Businesses

Women in mining


Chief Executive Officer, The Particle Group, and Chairperson of Women in Mining South Africa, Raksha’s hallmark is her keen sense of business strategy and improvement, which lends her to driving and achieving business targets. “Some of the biggest lessons that I focus on throughout my career journey are – to embrace failure for the great teacher that it is; always do the right thing especially when no one is watching; stay true to yourself and trust in your own ability,” she states.

A BSc graduate and an Executive level professional, Raksha has amassed extensive experience in all facets of efficient and effective mineral processing and production, and general management. She is a scientist by profession who initially joined the mining industry because she needed a job.  “I stayed in the industry because I loved the learnings, I loved the opportunities it presented, and today I even enjoy the challenges that the industry has, as it is an opportunity to bring about a positive change,” she says.

About the Particle Group

“The Particle Group is a mining services group, that supplies the mining industry with products that assist organizations in achieving quality control and quality assurance of their analytical data. Whilst we service a very niche part of the industry, we are a crucial part of the mining value chain” explains Raksha

Established in 2022, the Particle Group owns two independent businesses that are leading players in their respective fields, offering mission-critical services and products. The company has a strong client base and an experienced team to conduct operations. The company offers the highest levels of productivity and services offered to its stakeholders including globally competitive margins and significant growth opportunities with technology-enabled efficiency. The Particle Group, with its head office in South Africa has achieved a Level 2 BBBEEE Accreditation and believes in fostering community and localization in areas where it is present. 

Raksha joined the AMIS business 10 years ago. “Over that time, we’ve grown and evolved into a global industry leader.  The Particle Group was created to continue this expansion journey,” she shares.  Currently, the group has two businesses – AMIS, based in Johannesburg South Africa, and CDN, based in Langley in British Columbia Canada.

Raksha Naidoo: Enhancing Minds and Empowering Businesses
Raksha Naidoo

Women in Mining

Raksha is a successful 2022 WIM100 nominee which recognizes 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining. Delighted by the growing role of women in a traditionally male-dominated industry, she says, “There have been many changes for women in the industry, over my 20-year career journey. More and more women are represented at all levels of the mining value chain, throughout the organizational structures.  It is wonderful to see more female CEO’s and decision makers shape our industry. And it is progress to see more male partners and sponsors working hand in hand with women to move forward.”

However, she feels that whilst there is progress, women must face several trials in the mining industry – gender, race, age, and culture to name a few.  “Challenging the biases and fighting discrimination is not easy. I believe it is the job of industry leaders to break those stereotypes and create more inclusive working environments that allow women to succeed.  Female voices aren’t heard enough, a lot of women are still too afraid to speak up against challenges, and even more, are too afraid to have honest conversations.  Mentorship, coaching, and sponsorship play a huge part in bringing about changes in this regard” she shares.

“I run businesses in Canada and South Africa, and the face of mining in both regions is notably different.  However, the challenges that women face remain similar, and the more that women in mining organizations collaborate, the more we can focus on breaking the various stereotypes that exist in the industry.” Rooting for women in leadership roles, she says that female leadership needs to be celebrated. “The different leadership style that women lead with needs to be embraced, and female leadership needs to be appointed for the right reasons and need to be supported at all levels, to bring about true change and growth.” 

Support to Women via WiMSA

Raksha advocates the empowerment of women and girls in mining via WiMSA (Women in Mining, South Africa), of which she is the Chairperson. Established in 2010, WiMSA creates an empowering network to inspire, support and develop the progression of women working in the South African Mining Industry. “Supporting women in mining is imperative to the future success and growth of the industry. WIM organizations all over the world are collaborating with each other, learning from each other, and are focused on the direct needs of women in their regions.” 

As the Chairperson of Women in Mining South Africa, Raksha and her team’s key focus areas are focused on Mentorship, Technical support and upskilling, DE&I initiatives to create better awareness and understanding, GBV and Mental Wellness Campaigns, and a huge focus on the promotion of STEM to young girls to attract them into the mining industry.  WiMSA offers networking opportunities and focuses on the importance of building your tribe and your support base to help women better navigate through some of the daily challenges faced in mining. 

And we focus on collaborating with key stakeholders in the industry to ultimately create a better world for women in mining and through mining,” explains Raksha. “At WiMSA, our motto this year is to Be Bold, Be Brave, and Be You.  We must be bold to take steps forward to bring about change in our industry, be brave to have honest conversations in order to fight the challenges, biases and discrimination that exists, and we must embrace the power of women to step forward and have our voices and strengths shine through as we become the change that is needed in the industry.

"My advice (to women in mining) would be to always work harder than anyone else, to develop a thick skin, stand your ground and always fight on facts, and never forget that you are your greatest superhero!"

Leadership Style

Raksha actively fosters the work culture of the Particle Group, which is rooted in enabling empowerment, diversity, and inclusion. “It is the role of leadership to foster a culture that allows for job satisfaction, and an enabling environment that allows employees to become the best versions of themselves, and ultimately the most successful versions of themselves.  I focus on this daily, and I believe that the culture of family and inclusivity that we have throughout the organization has yielded successful business growth over the years,” she says.

There are several high points of Raksha’s career journey that she is proud of and assuming the role of CEO and Chairperson of WiMSA were highlights.  “But,” she shares, “stepping into a leadership role and then being able to mentor and empower my teams, and see their growth gives me the greatest joy.  Seeing people learn how to drive, buy their first home, or their first car, stand up for themselves against challenges they face in life, or to listen to the adventures of someone who has ventured overseas for the first time, I can’t explain how happy those moments make me.  It means that my commitment to my people as a leader is worth it, as I have given them some tools to help improve their lives and empowered them to strive for better, and these moments all ultimately contribute to a positive impact on their world and into our societies.” 

In fact, Raksha has always been passionate about people and helping others. Over a decade ago, even founded a non-profit organization, The Girlfriends Group, as a platform to help girls and women who need support or assistance. The aim is to help with the education of the girlchild and to help reduce period poverty.  

Words of Advice

“My advice (to women in mining) would be to always work harder than anyone else, to develop a thick skin, stand your ground and always fight on facts, and never forget that you are your greatest superhero!  The mining industry is tough, and there will always be challenging times, and that is okay.  But how you navigate through those challenges is what is important. Find a good mentor, build strong relationships, always remember that you are imperfectly perfect, and you got this!” concludes Raksha Naidoo

Women in mining