Getting in is one thing but having to prove oneself as equal and capable is a different story on its own and can be quite challenging.
Tracy Ferguson manages the bungee swing at the the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. She is the only South African woman who holds this position.
When she first began working at the stadium Tracy says that it was difficult working with men because she felt she had to prove herself that much more than she would in a more gender equal industry.
There are many women like Tracy who dream limitlessly and aren’t afraid to enter areas that women were once prohibited from. Xoliswa Bekiswa is a Marine Pilot and manages the all the Tugs at the Durban harbour, the biggest tug in Africa.
At the moment South Africa has 70 Marine Pilots, from that number only 15 are women. Respect has to be given to these women for not letting society dictate to them what jobs they ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ do. Xoliswa mentions that men are still surprised when they see her, especially on the night shift.
With that being said, something needs to be done within these male dominated industries to promote a more equal and realistic representation of society in the work place. In other words, more emphasis needs to be placed on hiring women.
Beier Safety Footwear, a footwear company in Durban, has taken centre stage in celebrating the achievements of women working who work male dominated industries.
The company released a new shoe collection, The Sisi Range, which is meant to provide safety shoes for women who work in male dominated markets.
The shoes will be feminine and fashionable but practical for the job. This to me says, “ I can look good while breaking a sweat” and that should be how women feel even if they are doing arduous work, right?
It’s great to see companies like Beier Safety Footwear contributing towards the empowerment women. The company is also involved in providing bursaries to women who want to work in industries. If you would like to read more on the company and the Sisi footwear range, visit Beier Safety Footwear.
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