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Shima Jagernath: Knowing Her Worth in the ‘Major Drilling Family’

By Saturday March 6th, 2021March 7th, 2021Industry News

Shima Jagernath has a particular ability to connect with others who visit her office.

That office is a space where all employees in the Suriname Branch in Paramaribo, can come with their concerns and better understand how to progress in their roles.

It is true that, at this time, Jagernath is the only woman holding a management position at the Major Drilling Suriname Branch. It is also true that mining and drilling are industries long dominated by men. That does not bother Jagernath.

She genially refers to the large group of employees as “my men” and strives to promote mutual respect and support for the team.

“My men can always express themselves freely, both emotionally and professionally,” she explains. “We joke, we laugh and enjoy our work together.”

She says it is at those times when her Major Drilling colleagues are most closely knit—like a family.

Shima Jagernath, Major Drilling Suriname HR Manager

“I enjoy the moments when I talk to them about their work and what we can always do together to solve and discuss business because we are one big family!”

Professional Strength

Perhaps it’s from working for nearly 10 years in Human Resources and earning a Master’s degree in the field that helps Jagernath convey her special human connection. It is experience that prepared her for a role she has enjoyed since 2017, requiring her to keep up with a workforce that is always on the move.

She helps busy Major Drilling teams meet important company targets including:

  • Establishing team alignment sessions with department heads and collaborating to achieve goals in motivation and conversation sessions.
  • Branch reorganization including personnel planning, structuring, support and implementation of procedures and activities for all departments.
  • Developing a comprehensive new HR handbook and employment procedures, performance management procedures, and workplace design, health, and wellness sessions in smaller groups. She also identifies a range of employment-related legal issues and ensures compliance with legal standards and procedures.

“Shima has been a great addition to our team here in Suriname,” Marc Turcot, the Major Drilling Suriname Branch General Manager, said. As a recipient of the kindness Jagernath radiates, he appreciates her professionalism and consideration in all she does. “She is very dedicated to her work as HR Manager in the Guyana Shield, and it shows. She calls us her Major family.”

Head and Heart

Born, raised and educated in Suriname, Jagernath credits the support of parents who have always offered her opportunities to break through in life, such as being able to face any challenge in life as a woman, being independent and being herself as she works with purpose.

The friendly mood she sets in her office promotes peace and tranquility in a place which, for many employees, is a welcome contrast from the daily grind.

Suriname Branch General Manager, Marc Turcot (left) and HR Manager, Shima Jagernath, meet often to advance the workforce’s productivity, training and well-being.

“HR has been the most interesting for me because I have always been passionate about motivating, communicating, and supporting people,” she said. “I believe that setting up performance strategies as early as possible is the key to a motivated, successful and a healthy team.”

Applying these strategies on herself started when she worked as a psychologist assistant for three years after completing her bachelor’s degree in organizational psychology.

“I always challenged myself to grow personally and support people and staff who need exactly that push of motivation and persistence.”

Connecting the Team

Persistence is put to work as Major Drilling teams use the tools provided by the HR department to support their endeavors. Jagernath reports directly to General Manager Turcot who says during the COVID-19 pandemic that Jagernath has kept employees on the move and able to work productively for clients.

Her guidance supports teams who work diligently for partners including Newmont Corporation at its Merian Mine. There, Major Drilling Suriname teams complete a variety of exploration, infill and blast hole drilling.

“Shima has especially stepped up as she successfully navigates different government agencies to obtain special permits and permissions for travel while keeping to COVID-19 protocols,” Turcot said.

Shima Jagernath enjoys opportunities to leave her desk and visit employees at their projects.

Jagernath is also an active part of Major Drilling’s corporate ESG committee. Each quarter she joins several fellow employees from around the globe to discuss how to advance the company’s environmental, social and governance initiatives.

From her office in Suriname, Shima Jagernath (far right, center box) joins fellow Major Drilling staff from Canada, the Philippines, Mongolia, South Africa and the USA for a quarterly corporate ESG meeting to discuss how the company advances initiatives in environmental, social and governance issues.

Knowing Her Worth

“When I started at Major Drilling, I noticed I could help the branch improve its depth and development within the corporate body,” Jagernath said. She set to work right away to establish her department as a group working independently for the good of the entire organization.

She found her role as a “business partner” to the other departments making her a responsible, knowledgeable, and good collaborator to professionalize the local branch’s structure, reorganize and  change management. Her approach also provides comprehensive services including recruiting staff, maintenance, retention and termination with the aim of optimizing, offering and developing tools and plans for personnel and organizational development.

She says no matter how big, high, or strong challenges may seem, it is a person’s qualities that define success in this sector, in any function.

“When I describe my work as a woman working for Major Drilling to other women, I can confidently say that in our company culture, I feel respected and appreciated,” she said. “I feel that’s connected with knowing my own self-confidence, assurance, and knowing my worth.”

It takes only a moment with Jagernath to learn that is true.



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