The representation of females at leadership levels within the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is improving at a rapid pace and with this comes the commitment to shape the future of young women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector – a field where it is believed women are still under-represented.
CDC celebrates women’s month and is especially proud of two colleagues who were recently finalists in two prestigious awards.
Sandisiwe Ncemane, CDC’s Energy Business Development Manager, was a finalist in the Standard Bank Top Women Awards and Sinawo Mtongana, CDC’s SHEQ Project Manager, was a finalist in the Women in Quality Awards. Both women attribute their achievements to hard work and determination. CDC was itself also a finalist in the Top Gender Empowered Company: Investing in People Award. It competed against Aecom, Multichoice, ACCSYS and Samro.
“We are proud of our colleagues’ recognition as finalists in these prestigious awards. They are an inspiration to many young business executives who believe in hard work and dedication to service excellence,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC Head of Marketing and Communications.
Mentoring young women to help them grow in the maths and science sector is part of CDC’s way of giving back to the community.
Ncemane was a finalist in the Standard Bank Top Women Award, which aired on SABC 3’s glamour programme Top Billing. She is currently responsible for mentoring two young women, one of whom has recently returned from a Nuclear Energy training programme in China. The awards was held on August 6 at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.
The Top Women Awards recognize outstanding leadership, whose inspiration, vision and innovation have stepped up and shaped women’s roles within the private and public sectors.
Ncemane believes that a nurturing, collaborative yet assertive outlook can be even more effective than the traditional masculine approach to business. “I would like to see future organisations adopt more of this approach and would like to be an example of one who succeeds in engendering such an organisational trait,” she said.
Ncemane is responsible for promoting investment in both power generation and manufacturing projects, including gas, nuclear, wind and solar related energy projects.
In 2011 she was appointed as the account manager of the DCD Wind Tower facility at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ). She has also been involved with the Dedisa Peaking Power Plant, which will assist Eskom in stabilising the grid by producing 342 MW of electricity during peak hours.
The Standard Bank Top Women Awards nominees went through a rigorous screening process by an independent panel of judges.
The all-female judging panel consisted of:
- Vanessa Phala, Executive Director for Social and Transformation Policy at Business Unity South Africa (BUSA);
- Rahab Serepong, Head of Human Resources Development and Transformation at Anglo American Platinum;
- Thandiwe Ngqobe, Chief Operations Officer of the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC);
- Shirley Olsen, National Chairman of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA);
- Johanna Mukoki, Group CEO of Travel with Flair;
- Kate Moodley, Franchise Director at Discovery Holdings;
- Elouise Kelly, Head of Marketing at SABC;
- Nene Molefi, Owner and Managing Director of Mandate Molefi Human Resources Consultants; and
- Nicolene Murdoch, Chief Operating Officer at Monash South Africa.
The second annual Women in Quality Conference and Awards was held on August 7 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and hosted by PDCA Solutions, in celebration of national women’s day.
Mtongana was a finalist in the Outstanding Individual Achievement Award in Quality category. The conference aims to recognize the commitment and efforts of women in the quality profession.
The judging panel consisted of:
- Dawn Diergaardt – Senior Manager- Management Services TUV SUD South Africa Holding;
- Ferose Oaten – CEO TUV SUD South Africa Holding;
- Natalie Taft – SFF – SHEQ Manager;
- Sergio Hoosen – PDCA Solutions, Pre-Judging process; and
- Rae Johnson (Independent Auditor) – RA Johnson Accounting Tax Services.
Mtongana said the health and safety industry was a regulatory sector and it was important for youth who want to enter the environment industry to do their research, be willing to explore new grounds and be confident in asserting the rules.
Responsible for health, safety and environment project management at the CDC, her role goes beyond the well-being of staff working on construction sites. She also deals with facilities and project management, and champions the CDC’s Wellness programme.
Mtongana’s goal is to obtain her Master’s Degree. “At CDC there is a lot of space to grow. The organisation spots talent and utilises it accordingly,” she said.
As part of the CDC’s commitment to the development of young women, staff participate in the Vision 4 Mentoring for Girls programme, which aims to encourage Grade 12 girls from previously disadvantaged areas in the region to be workplace ready and become leaders in their careers of choice.
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