International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) marks its 11th anniversary in 2024 under the theme of #EnhancedByEngineering on June 23. This annual event celebrates the incredible contributions of women engineers worldwide, highlighting their role in enhancing lives and livelihoods through their work. Among these remarkable individuals are Keletso Malatsi and Lufuno Maishe, two talented engineers from ABB who are building a brighter future for all of us.

Keletso Malatsi, Associate Project Manager, ABB South Africa

Keletso holds a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Industrial Engineering degree from the University of Johannesburg. Her industry journey began at Sea Harvest as a Graduate Industrial Engineer, where she implemented continuous improvement initiatives and managed inventory.

In November 2021, she joined ABB South Africa as an Engineer in Training, assisting project managers in planning and executing projects. In June 2023, Keletso stepped into her current role as an Associate Project Manager, where she leads and manages project teams, coordinates resources, schedules, budgets, and ensures compliance with health, safety, and environmental policies.

In her position at ABB, Keletso is responsible for the successful execution of projects by leading and managing teams and ensuring timely production of all project documentation and reports. She works closely with cross-functional teams of engineers, project managers, and other stakeholders, fostering a collaborative environment that is crucial for achieving project goals and maintaining efficiency.

“I am passionate about engineering because it allows me to solve complex problems and create innovative solutions that have a tangible impact on the world. The field of industrial engineering, in particular, excites me as it combines technical expertise with strategic thinking to optimise processes and improve efficiency,” says Keletso.

She adds: “I find great satisfaction in seeing how my work can enhance productivity, reduce costs, and contribute to overall operational success. In addition, the continuous learning and growth opportunities in engineering keep me motivated and engaged, as I am always eager to embrace new challenges and advancements in technology.”

ABB South Africa actively fosters an inclusive workplace culture that values and respects diverse perspectives. The company implements policies and initiatives to ensure equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of their background, gender, or ethnicity. ABB supports diversity through training programmes, mentorship opportunities, and employee resource groups, creating a collaborative and innovative environment that enhances employee engagement and drives company success.

Keletso believes women can significantly contribute to the #EnhancedByEngineering theme by bringing diverse perspectives and innovative ideas to the field. “Their leadership, creativity, and collaborative skills can drive advancements in technology and engineering solutions. By focusing on user-centred design, advocating for inclusive policies, and promoting sustainability, women enhance the engineering landscape, fostering a more diverse and innovative industry.”

Keletso encourages girls aspiring to a career in engineering to believe in their abilities and pursue their passion with confidence. She emphasises the endless opportunities in engineering to innovate, solve problems, and make a meaningful impact on the world.

She advises against being discouraged by challenges or stereotypes, urging girls to see them as opportunities for growth and to seek out mentors and continuous learning opportunities. She underscores the value of their unique perspectives and the engineering world’s need for their talents and ideas.

Lufuno Maishe, Hoisting Project Engineer, ABB South Africa

Lufuno studied engineering at the University of Johannesburg. She began her career at Iritron as a student, then worked as a Software Engineer in Training at Aveng. She later joined Winder Controls as a Winder Project Engineer, which led her to her current position at ABB as a Hoisting Project Engineer.

She works with mine hoists at ABB, designing, programming, and commissioning winders, which are large versions of elevators used in mining to transport people and machinery underground. Her small team consists of three project members and a service department of three. The teams often collaborate to assist each other as needed, ensuring mine safety and efficiency.

“Engineering keeps you on your toes, allows you to solve problems, and also impacts your personal life. I love that I create solutions that improve people’s lives and ensure that mines are safe to work in,” says Lufuno.

Lufuno has noticed an increase in the employment of women at ABB and believes more can be done to train women for management roles in engineering. She advocates for continued efforts to promote inclusion and diversity within the the engineering field.

She supports the #EnhancedByEngineering theme, seeing it as an opportunity for women to be recognised and encouraged to take up space in their careers, no matter the field. This recognition can inspire women to aim high and achieve their professional goals.

“It allows women to perceive that we are seen and encouraged to take up space in the world no matter what career we decide to embark on or even when you want to move higher up in a company. It shows that the sky is no limit,” says Lufuno.

Lufuno’s message to girls considering a career in engineering is that it is challenging but exciting, and anyone can succeed with determination and effort. Engineering is “not rocket science” and encourages girls to know their purpose and stay focused, even in a male-dominated field.

As we celebrate INWED 2024, the personal journeys of Keletso and Lufuno remind us of the remarkable contributions women engineers make every day. Their passion, innovation, and dedication continue to enhance the engineering landscape, paving the way for future generations of women in the field.

By Admin