Transport Evolution Africa Forum & Expo Celebrates Women in Transport this Women’s Month
August is Women’s Month in South Africa and Transport Evolution Africa Forum & Expo is celebrating and honouring the industry’s trailblazers who are achieving career success, shattering glass ceilings, and opening doors for other women by encouraging everyone to nominate a deserving nominee to be honoured at Women in Transport Awards on the 29 September in Durban, South Africa.
We asked our esteemed judges a few questions about Women’s Day, the industry, and the Women in Transport Awards.
What does Women’s Day mean to you?
I’m a woman. Every day is a Woman’s Day. Without us this world will never be. We cannot, one second, take this day for granted. On this, polish up on that business plan, review those plans to study, brush up on your CV, and learn a new skill. Wear your best feminine smile and celebrate that you are Here.
Khomotjo Mphahlele, Interim Senior Manager – Training Delivery, Faculty of Port Terminals and Marine: Transnet Academy
Khomotjo is a seafarer and marine professional with 17yrs of industry experience, currently working as Interim Senior Manager at Transnet Academy, Faculty of Port Terminals and Marine as Senior Manager responsible for Training Delivery for both marine and port terminals operations. Her career started in the gold mines, then moved on to manufacturing cigarettes, valves, and assembling Land Rovers until she was led to the maritime industry in 2003. She is an award-winning Maritime Studies graduate, currently enrolled in UKZN to further her studies in continuous pursuit of knowledge and personal development.
What are some of the biggest challenges that women face today in the transport industry?
One of the most significant challenges for women in Transport is the lack of exposure, opportunities, and inclination by Industry to transform the sector. We live in a modern world whereby skills and knowledge take precedence over gender in the Transport sector, which thus limits women from participating. In fact, most jobs in the transport sector are highly gendered and unequal. With at least 70 % – 85% of men holding jobs in the sector, a limited pipeline is created for Women entrants in the organisation. As a result of such a huge difference in the percentage of women employed or owning businesses in different sub-sectors, the women’s voices are all too often neglected when it comes to decision making, promotion, discrimination, and the pursuit of decent work.
Lebogang Letsoalo, Chief Executive, Sincpoint
Lebogang is a Supply Chain Coach and a Chief Executive of Sincpoint, an organisation focusing on end-to-end sustainable supply chain optimisation solutions, Women coaching, Entrepreneur Development, and Logistics services. She is a multi-award winner with 11 recognitions and awards amongst others profiled Globally as one of the 100 Most Influential Women (No 20) in Supply chain, Global 100 Top Women in Supply Chain, Top 100 women in Supply Chain Africa, TOP 150 Global Women In Leadership Awards, Women In Transport Mentor of the Year and others with 23 years of experience on end to end supply chain within the Energy, Chemicals, Construction, Transport and Mining industries she has held various portfolios within several organisations such as IBM, Fluor, DeBeers, Eskom, and Sasol. Her previous roles included being a Senior Buyer, General Manager Supply Chain, Procurement Executive, Executive Project Development Manager for Hydro Projects, and Vice President of Supply chain.
Why do you think the Women in Transport Awards is important?
It is a mouthpiece and a pillar of inspiration to target an industry that can contribute and shape the economic, social and personal development of women in our communities. For many, it is a beacon of hope to take up the challenge and be empowered. Women in transport awards are important because of the awareness the awards create: honouring women who make a difference inspires others to make a difference. It also gives women the energy to continue making an impact.
Mavis Mhlanga-Mochadibane, Chairperson, Tshwane Women in Transport
Mavis operates the black-owned companies Bondoya Vulani Hlayisani Holding T/A BVH Transport Consulting. She is currently the chairperson of Tshwane Women in Transport (TWIT) which is a member of the South African Network of Women in Transport (SANWIT). She has a passion for issues of transformation and empowerment of historically disadvantaged especially women and youth. Through her dedication, Basadi Pele consortium was formed and she is the chairperson for which they become shareholders of Bafati trust under PPC.
Why should women be interested in the transport sector? What does it have to offer?
Transportation and logistics play a key role in the economy of every country. The transport sector is a key facilitator of trade and lies at the heart of globalization. The economic benefits of exchange and trade for reducing poverty and inequality are indisputable. Therefore, it goes without saying that women, who comprise 50% of the global workforce should be actively involved in and benefit from this sector. Particularly since it is women and children who bear the brunt of and are most adversely affected by unemployment, poverty, and inequality in South Africa.
Trudie Nichols, Consultant, Bowman Gilfillan
Trudie Nichols is a practicing attorney and consultant with Bowman Gilfillan Inc.’s Durban office. Trudie has legal and consulting experience within the Ports Transport and Logistics sector. She has conducted cross-border and due diligence investigations, and risk assessments and provided advice in relation to the regulatory transport and port legislation and legal frameworks. She has drafted and reviewed concessions, lease, and service agreements and has advised terminal users, operators, and state entities on contractual and legal regulatory risks.
This Women’s Month, they are calling for nominations for the Women in Transport Awards that will be held on 29 September 2022. This will be the 5th annual Women in Transport Awards which aims to recognise and celebrate the success of women who are transforming the face and course of the transport sector.
Keep following the various social media platforms this month to find out more about other influential women that form our judge’s panel who are making a difference and leading the way in the industry.