We all know that Civil Engineering is predominantly a ‘man’s world’ and finding inspiration as a women in this sphere can be hard. But there’s nothing you can’t do and some very inspirational women in the industry are showing gender empowerment at a global level. Research shows that female-run and owned organisations have greater performance levels and we are seeing more women in top positions at consulting engineering companies throughout the world.
One prime example of a female-owned organisation is Kulani Engineering Consultancy, which is headed by Kurisani Maswanganyi. Maswanganyi is a Pr Techni. Eng, who prior to opening Kulani in 2007, spent time in the United Kingdom working on exciting projects much like the extension of Heathrow Terminal 5. Kulani has worked on several engineering projects in South Africa since.
Dubbed as an “engineering genius” she is a symbol of women empowerment and is a devoted businesswoman always striving for perfection – winning numerous awards and featured in many publications. If there were ever a true ambassador for being a businesswomen, Kulani would be it.
Another true ambassador – running an international consultancy is Danai Magugumela, the Managing Director of Bosch Stemele. Magugumela sports an MSc degree in Civil Engineering from the Texas A&M University and began her professional life as a lab assistant in a materials testing lab for the Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation. After returning to South Africa, she became a Project Manager for the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit, where she was later promoted to Chief Executive, rising above the men in the industry, and leading managers of technical teams and projects. She has been on the executive board of many consultancies in the infrastructure sector is currently a member of Council for the University of Pretoria. Magugumela’s competitive streak and desires to achieve what people say cannot be done makes her a leader of the industry.
There are many more women like Danai and Kurisani making waves in the business world and we honour all of you. Women like these inspire the rest of us to rise in a ‘man’s world’.