Junior engineer Moreblessing Chipango, Engineer-in-training, Davina Ramadhin, and Engineering draftsperson, Miché Van Rensburg are creating a spark in the industry.
There’s a new breed of engineers in South Africa: they’re young, professional, altruistic and passionate about the world around them. Most importantly, they’re women.
In the month of August that celebrates women, Norconsult Iyanda (Pty) Ltd – a black women owned electrical engineering company that provides expertise in design and project management for electrical engineering projects – honoured three powerful women in their company, working in a traditionally male-dominated engineering sector.
While they are all fully engaged with the professional field of electrical engineering, they also all share an interest in the health of the planet and take a keen interest in renewable energy.
Moreblessing Chipango, who grew up in a family of predominantly professionals, where education was a priority, knew from an early age that she wanted to do something relevant and important, something that would make a difference in the lives of people. “At Norconsult, I am doing what I love, and giving back at the same time. Working on electrification programmes means that I have to investigate how people live, what their needs are. I then design electrical systems to meet their needs.”
Engineer-in-training, Davina Ramadhin, joined Norconsult Iyanda when she completed a BSc in Electrical Engineering at Howard College in KwaZulu-Natal. She says: “I have always liked physics and maths so it was a natural progression to move into the field of engineering.” She was part of a team of engineers and technicians who undertook to conduct a factory acceptance test at the global leaders in power and automation technologies’ (ABB) facilities (in Czech Republic) for a project Norconsult Iyanda is currently executing.
The ladies caution that it would be futile to think that men and women received equal treatment in this male dominated industry. Chipango says, “We have to work harder to prove ourselves and to show we are capable of doing our jobs.” Ramadhin adds, “We have to fight to be seen.”
Miché Van Rensburg, who has been with Norconsult Iyanda for eight years, is a young woman making history in her field. She is one of the few women in South Africa responsible for interpreting engineering concepts and turning them into drawings for the designs. “I come in between the concept and the building or installation. One of the most important aspects of my job is working with, and understanding the needs of the Engineer whose concepts-design I have to turn into plans. I am also involved in setting up projects as well as ensuring Quality Assurance of all drawings within Norconsult Iyanda.”
All three young women ascribe their passion to being fully engaged with their jobs. They say they want to be role models for young women making career decisions.