Once the exclusive domain of men, there is an encouraging new influx of women into the automotive industry in Gqeberha – bringing new dynamism and balance to the sector.
Despite the fears of many women about breaking into male-dominated industries, these women are defying the odds, proving that women in these industries can excel. The auto industry has been an industry controlled mainly by men, but in recent years many women have entered the industry and earned their stripes.
The Eastern Cape Province has become an economic center and is home to many vehicle manufacturing companies. Born and raised in Gqeberha, Luaneta Logie has always loved the automotive industry. His career in the industry has not been easy.
After graduating, she applied for a graduate training program at Delta Motor Corporation, but was twice turned down. However, that didn’t deter her, on the contrary, it made her even more determined to break into an industry that was then overwhelmingly male.
She often says that it is women who are the biggest threats to their own growth in this industry.
“What I found as a challenge was our own belief that we are not good enough, that we do not have a strong voice. And so for me, the challenge is always to help women make their voices heard, to truly earn their place at the table and to take their place at the table. Men do not prevent you from being at the table; we limit ourselves by not wanting to occupy this seat because we think that we are not enough. It is therefore absolutely essential to overcome this self-limiting belief. “
At the same time, Ncedisa Mzuzu, responsible for the environment by profession, joined the automotive sector in 2008 as an environmental engineer. She had to learn the ropes quickly, always ready to learn new things and gear up where she felt short.
Now she wears a new cap in this space, as a production manager in the most difficult part of the automotive business, the paint shop.
Mzuzu says dedication and hard work have always prevailed in his career. “To young girls, if I can give one piece of advice, it is that they should have a curious mind, a curious mind. They must be prepared to learn new things and most importantly, a mind that is willing to take risks, because this is life where you cannot stay in a comfort zone forever. So I think they just need to take a leap of faith and go find what’s out there. “
“Lower the ladder …”
President and CEO of the Nelson Mandela Municipality Chamber of Commerce, Denise van Huyssteen is a pioneer in the automotive sector in Eastern Cape. She started her career in this sector at the Chamber of Commerce.
Her quirky wit led her to get kicked out by managers in the industry and she never looked back, ending up bowing out after 20 years. “I think I got used to working with men, but I became more aware of their gender difference. When I started in the automotive industry I remember one of the first meetings I attended, because the secretary was not there, I was asked if I wanted to take the minutes Of the reunion. It’s almost the same as asking yourself to brew coffee for everyone you know. So, it’s a bit when you realize that there is this difference but I think that over time it has changed and also for me and it is not a question of being distinguished because you are a woman, it is about being respected because you are an equal. And for me it’s all about delivery and what I also set out to do was learn what I didn’t know because I was dealing with very technical people, a lot of engineers and people. who know cars inside out. So I had to make it my business to learn.
Women say the best way to commemorate Women’s Day is to make sure the women at the top bring down the ladder to those who follow them. Author – Lwando Nomoyi