The importance of role models

"It is only when I saw people that looked like me, doing the things that I wanted to do, that I realised what was possible" #anengineeralsolookslikeme

The month of August is National Women's Month in South Africa. This month is dedicated to celebrating women's achievements and the important role that women have played and continue to play in South African society.

As we kick-off Women's Month, I am reminded of how when I started my career in engineering, I struggled to reconcile whether I fit in the engineering industry. There was this popular image presented by mainstream media of what an engineer looks like and at the time, I believed that I did not fit the image. As a young woman in engineering, I would often wonder why there were so few engineers that looked like me and I began to question whether I would be successful in this industry.

This belief gradually changed as I engaged with phenomenal female engineers in the industry (incl. Welekazi Cele, Anneri Robinson and Lindiwe Ngwenya, and many others).