When I was a kid, life was simple. You go to school, your parents work, and if you wanted something, you make a plan. My plan consisted of asking (probably closer to nagging) my dad to teach me to make wiring harnesses for MP9 fuel injection conversions. I was excited! So many wires, so many colours! And plugs. And tape. And cuts and burns and accidental solder drips on my lap. But, at a whopping R250 per harness (yes, it was a long time ago), I persisted. Even if it took me a whole day, or two, to finish one harness. I was well on my way to getting the money I needed for what I wanted.
I don't remember what that was, probably my first car, which was going to be... A horse.
As it turns out, life gets complicated. While not much has changed in the line of carburetor to fuel injection conversions, the world of automotive electronics has exploded, and is expanding in all directions.
As a woman in the automotive industry, you're traversing a man's world. The, quite often, unintentional bias means that you have to work extra hard to prove your competence. Just "OK", or so-so, won't justify your place in this "man's world". You have to be exceptional. You have to lead discoveries and reach new heights, you have to push boundaries. Every. Single. Day.
As a woman, a mother of two daughters, and a sister to the many, many women who face this challenge, I say: Stand up. Stand out. Lead the way. Break the barriers. Take heart that times are changing, but more needs to be done, and WE, the women of today, are doing it. Together, we are shaping the world for the women of tomorrow.
In 2019, the first South African woman Audi Master Technician was certified.
Nissan has been doing a great job at promoting gender diversity.
“When I'm sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, 'When there are nine,' people are shocked. But there'd been nine men, and nobody's ever raised a question about that.”
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States