It is estimated that 65% of pupils starting primary school today will have jobs that does not exist yet.
As such, the United nations declared 11 February as International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This is the UN’s attempt at challenging the gender stereotypes and biases surrounding women and young girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
Ford South Africa is in full support of this day and initiative and hosts an annual career day at its assembly plant in Silverton, Pretoria where around 80 Grade 11 and learners are taught the various facets of the motor industry.
The aim of the career day, says Ford, is to “expose the learners to the many career options that are available in the automotive industry, where each department fits into the business, and what kind of qualifications and skills are needed for various roles.”
Ford encourages the upliftment of women and girls in our societies. The career day is only part of their attempt at expanding the children’s frame of reference.
Taking on the future
Supporting Ford's mission of empowering young girls is Nosisa Nkwali, an electronics technician at Ford’s Struandale plant in Port Elizabeth. Nkwali joined Ford SA after obtaining her National Diploma in Electrical Engineering at the Nelson Mandela University in PE.
Nkwali says that as a kid, she enjoyed fixing broken things, and that ultimately led to her to discover a passion for mathematics and science.
She notes: "At school I excelled in Maths and Science, and I knew I wanted a career that incorporated both of my favourite subjects.”
Her mindset and determination paved the way for her to now be an integral part of Ford's Struandale plant.
She adds: "It can be challenging to be one of only a few females in a predominantly male working environment. But as time goes on, you get used to the challenge. You just have to work extra hard to prove yourself, and eventually you become part of the team.”
Nkwali concludes that any it is possible for young girls to make a success of their lives and shares the following important notes: “If you have a passion for Maths and Science, if you have the right attitude and confidence in yourself, if you are prepared to motivate yourself and practice patience when the going gets tough, and if you are prepared to work really hard and be a team player, you will succeed."
Nosisa Nkwali. Image: QuickPic
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond