An annual event that celebrates the incredible contributions of women engineers worldwide, International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) mark its 11th anniversary in 2024 under the theme of #EnhancedByEngineering. This year, INWED celebrates women engineers who have enhanced lives and livelihoods through their work. These remarkable individuals contribute to building a brighter future for all of us.

Mashadi Sebola, Engineering Manager, ABB South Africa, Test Department

Mashadi has a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering and is pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration. She commenced her career at ABB in 2011 as a P1/P2 trainee.

In 2013 she was permanently employed as a Test Technician, ensuring product quality, dependability, and customer interaction. In November 2016 she took up the challenge to join the tendering department, motivated by curiosity and an interest in the business’s commercial elements.

This transfer allowed Mashadi to gain experience in tender procedures and customer interactions. Seeking new challenges and growth prospects, she then embarked on a career outside in the rail industry. However, her admiration for ABB’s culture and desire to contribute to its success drew her back when an opportunity for Test Manager arose and she was successfully appointed.

Mashadi oversees a team of competent test engineers responsible for creating and executing test plans to validate product performance. She collaborates with cross-functional teams like design engineers, project managers, senior management, and production team to define test requirements, implement processes, and generate results.

In addition, she administers testing operations and plans long-term strategic testing infrastructure and capabilities. She is also responsible for exploring new testing technologies and tools to enhance efficiency, scalability, and effectiveness. The role blends technical knowledge, project management skills, and leadership.

The Test Department is the training ground for all young engineering students wishing to become test engineers, design engineers, or wherever their aspirations lie. “I am very proud to manage a team of devoted test engineers who are eager about guaranteeing the quality and dependability of our products, eventually contributing to ABB’s success in providing creative solutions to our clients,” comments Mashadi.

Engineering provides a platform for making important contributions, solving technical problems, increasing efficiency and productivity, and improving systems. “I am inspired by the opportunity to address issues that have an impact on the world around us. Furthermore, being a part of a traditionally male-dominated industry motivates me to challenge preconceptions and urge other women to seek jobs in STEM. I am eager to challenge the status quo and drive change in the industry, pushing boundaries, and paving the way for future generations of female engineers,” says Mashadi.

ABB is committed to promoting inclusion and diversity at all levels of its business, recognising its role in innovation, creativity, and corporate success. The company actively seeks diverse applicants and fosters a friendly atmosphere where everyone feels appreciated and respected. It promotes diversity and inclusion through employee resource groups, training programmes, and awareness campaigns, fostering networking and advocacy for positive change within the business, thereby promoting workplace diversity.

She concludes: “It is important to embrace your abilities, hobbies, and curiosity, and not let gender influence your career. Seek mentors and role models, especially female engineers, to gain experience and advice. Building a strong support network can significantly impact your career goals and help you achieve your career goals.”

Sweetness Rakosa, Marketing and Sales Manager, ABB Electrification

Sweetness studied Electrical Engineering (Light Current) at the University of South Africa. She started her career as a Junior Electrical Engineer for a crane company, where her main responsibility was the electrical design for cranes.

She has over 20 years’ work experience in different industries and companies, including Siemens Energy, ABB, Atlas Copco, Siemens Gamesa, and Vestas. Over the years she became more interested in technical sales and contracts management. Her current role at ABB Electrification Service is Marketing and Sales Manager.

Sweetness leads and develops the service sales team to exceed the sales targets through high performance to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction. She implements the service sales strategy aligned with ABB’s global service priorities and local strategic direction to profitably achieve qualitative and quantitative targets.

“I am passionate about engineering because you always learn new things and tackle complex challenges. You get to create and implement solutions that will improve or change the world,” comments Sweetness. ABB creates an environment that is safe, respectful, and inclusive for all its employees and does not tolerate any form of discrimination including gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, religion, ability, and age.

“We need to encourage and mentor girls who have a passion for engineering. We need to show them the positive impact that women engineers have had in the world and how they can continue that legacy,” adds Sweetness.

Her message to girls wanting to embark on a similar career is simple: “The way has already been paved for you by the remarkable women engineers in the world. Nothing is impossible; follow your dreams and change the world.”

By Admin