Tag Archives: Women

Women in engineering – we need more!

5 August, Johannesburg: Jani Bester, application engineer, Autodesk distributor and BIM evangelist, sets the bar high for women in the science, technology and innovation fields (STI).  This year she will be speaking at the Autodesk University Extension (AUx) when it returns to Johannesburg on the 4th of September 2014 at the Forum in Bryanston.

 The global demand for women in STI is at an all time high, yet the percentage of female engineers graduating from South African universities is static at a brutal rate of 10-15%.

“Engineering is not about constructing a super fancy bridge, it is about applying solutions to real problems,” says Bester. “And to do that effectively you need diverse brains to consider the challenge differently, and from all possible angles.”

The STI field is still male-dominant, despite the various institutional and governmental policies in place to support women entering the workforce. But, it may not be the common gender role stereotype that is scaring women off.

Engineering starts at a young age.

“Girls are typically brought up to play ‘house’ and play with dolls, while boys, from an early age, play with tools and blocks and get a sense of fixing things,” says Bester. “As a child I use to play with Lego, not Barbies.”

Many of the barriers to women pursuing STI careers are cultural. Women have accepted gender roles and stereotypes that have been passed down by generations.  “

The solution?  “Awareness,” says Bester.

Women – regardless of their social and economic standings – need to be both encouraged to pursue engineering careers and informed of opportunities that exist in engineering. Being aware of the opportunities that exist for them will enable women to break free from the stereotypes that they find themselves in.

Bester will be speaking at AUx later this year, highlighting the contribution and opportunity generated by software involved in collaborating architectural and engineering construction.



Woman To Woman

Woman, lover, mother, grandmother and daughter these are but a few of the many roles a woman plays in life and society. The 09th of August saw woman in South Africa from all walks of life celebrated and adorned irrespective of title or rank. The country was in arms in highlighting the rights of a woman. Although we have come a long way as a country and as a people there is still room for change.

With Woman’s Day behind us I thought it best to engage some of our woman in media to have their take on how they perceive women’s day and the role of a woman in general. The response was amazing as these women poured out their hearts on the subject and clearly this proves women’s day should be an everyday thing not just a special day on a calendar.

One thing that stood out for me was the need for ‘us’ as woman to join arms and be each others stairway to a society that recognises our contribution. ‘WE’ are the people that shape a society, let us build a society that not only respects but recognises women’s contribution within society and in the boardroom. Let us teach our young girls to speak out and be heard. This in no way means they will lose humility within a society; let us help our present and future generations find a voice.

Time is of the essence in life; never procrastinate what you can do today. It all begins with a thought a ‘what if’. Let’s build dialogue and learn to share as woman. As you read the opinions of these wonderful woman; I urge you to question your own contribution to the advancement of woman, beginning with that of your own.


Zaba Simbine
Radio Presenter- The Drive with Damon and Zaba
Twitter handle: @mynameiszaba

What does women’s day mean to you?

It’s a day to remind the world to celebrate women. It is also a day for us females to come together and stand for one thing. We should also commemorate the women that started the women’s revolution back in 1956 who gave us a voice and taught us to stand up for what we believe in.

Do you feel society recognises women’s contribution as they should?

Society at large does not recognise women’s contributions and achievements. We often find that when a man does something good, his praises are sung but if a woman does the exact same thing it is not appreciated as much or a man takes the credit.


If you could change anything in the way women are perceived what would it be?

I would love to change the perception of the fact that women do not stand together. It actually isn’t a perception but rather a fact. As women, we can never acknowledge and praise the achievements and successes of others. Instead we find snide remarks to bring one another down. We speak and write bad things about one another. How are we meant to rise as women, if within our entity, we are divided? How are we meant to grow if we can’t uplift each other? When a woman finds success we gossip about how she “slept” with the right person. Can a woman not succeed with our own hard work and talent? I really would love to see a society where, we, as women stick together and uplift one another.

Boniswa Mohale 

Isolezwe Journalist 

What does women’s day mean to you?

Woman’s Day is the only day when Women are given the respect they deserve. It means there were real women who fought for me to enjoy the freedom I have, to write and say what I like and to get into a previously male dominated industry.

Do you feel society recognises women’s contribution as they should?

I don’t think women are recognized as they should be, compare to their male counterparts and in the media industry it takes a very long time for them to break the glass ceiling. How many women editors do we have in print media? There you have it.

If you could change anything in the way women are perceived what would it be?

I wouldn’t want people to perceive women as sensitive or moody beings that’s what I would change. Women are strong they can face anything and still manage to smile.

Melanie Ramjee

Publicist / Owner at TuTone Communication

Twitter handle: @Hypress

What does women’s day mean to you?

Not much. Women should be celebrated everyday.

Do you feel society recognises women’s contribution as they should?

Definitely not. We are still marginalised and discriminated against.

If you could change anything in the way women are perceived what would it be?

I think woman are superior human beings.

Sdu’ Gerasch

Freelance writer for City Press & Eat Out Magazine

What does women’s day mean to you?

Women’s day means that we should  break the ice, and work together as women instead of bringing each other down. I guess it depends where one comes from. But so far our community does recognize the important role played by women. The problem is women are so invisible and unreachable. If we can all put our pride aside and think of our people/ nation…we will go far in life. I guess women are afraid to work with and recognise each other.

Do you feel society recognises women’s contribution as they should?

For me a real woman is someone who can take care not only of their family,
but their neighbor’s kid without complaining. Showing them love and
compassion without expecting anything in return. My own mother nurtured kids around the block or parish, at times living us feeling neglected..

If you could change anything in the way women are perceived what would it be?

One thing I would change within African women is to speak their minds. Yes we are brought up in the society where apparently men are seen as superior. One thing I would change is to open the eyes of our African people, especially women to realized that we’ve been deceived for so many years. Let women speak their mind, allow them in church as Priest, lets hear more voice from women in parliament.


Here is my take on women’s day:

kelly photo

Kelly Mthethwa

Zagossip Author

Blogger on http://www.peepsouth.wordpress.com

Twitter handle: @kellymthethwa


What does women’s day mean to you?

Women’s Day is a day dedicated to celebrating woman noting their contribution to society and focusing on their needs and most importantly their future.

Do you feel society recognises women’s contribution as they should?

Yes, and No. Yes, because woman are naturally feminine beings that nurture, nourish and protect. Society always appreciates the motherliness of a woman because a true woman mother’s an entire village or community her place, space and contribution is always felt and respected. No, because in as much as woman are respected they are also exploited, abused and not given the recognition their male counterparts are. Society still has a long way to go when it come to recognising the contribution of a woman. Some would argue that tradition and culture infringes some of the most inherent rights of woman.

If you could change anything in the way women are perceived what would it be?

I believe the essence of a woman which is her femininity and nurture are the very things that limit woman in the eyes of our society. As a result some woman adopt the persona of masculinity, strength does not have to replace the essence of a woman. I would unveil the true nature of a woman for society; a woman’s beauty is skin deep. Strength is in the mind and spirit and so is ability of which woman are just as capable as man are in any field or platform. Yes, we do have different roles to play as a woman and a man but we are both capable and able beings.