WOMEN IN POWER

Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA) is a bea­con of gen­der di­ver­sity in a sec­tor dom­i­nated by men. In hon­our of Women’s Month, we asked three women lead­ing dif­fer­ent as­pects of the busi­ness to share their per­spec­tives on what it is like to work in the coun­try’

Public Sector Manager - - OPINION -

NONTOKOZO NKOSI

– Head of Com­mer­cial Of­fice,

South Africa Nontokozo Nkosi has been in her cur­rent po­si­tion since Jan­uary 2018, hav­ing joined the com­pany two years ago. As Head of De­part­ment, she is re­spon­si­ble for iden­ti­fy­ing and orig­i­nat­ing new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

WHAT ARE YOUR CA­REER HIGH­LIGHTS?

I have been in the re­new­able en­ergy in­dus­try for five years and it’s amaz­ing to see how it’s grown and trans­formed. This is an in­dus­try that has at­tracted in­ter­na­tional play­ers, giv­ing us op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­ter­act, learn and share with peo­ple from all over the world. I came from the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try; I would not have thought it pos­si­ble to amass con­sid­er­able knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence in a rel­a­tively short space of time. It is ex­cit­ing to work for mar­ket leader in the re­new­ables sec­tor.

WHAT IS YOUR UNIQUE CON­TRI­BU­TION TO THE ROLE?

At­ten­tion to de­tail, even in a com­plex, mul­ti­fac­eted en­vi­ron­ment where you have to bring to­gether very dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines to achieve a spe­cific goal. Pas­sion and drive, es­pe­cially in a male­dom­i­nated in­dus­try. Soft but firm per­sua­sion

skills in com­plex and dif­fi­cult ne­go­ti­a­tions. A “yes, we can” at­ti­tude, pos­i­tiv­ity and a smile when deal­ing with dy­namic sit­u­a­tions. WHAT IS YOUR AD­VICE FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO WORK IN THE RE­NEW­ABLE EN­ERGY SEC­TOR? Be pre­pared to be a pi­o­neer. This is a new and dy­namic sec­tor in South Africa so the ground is fer­tile for in­no­va­tion and new ideas. It’s “a place to be” for de­vel­op­ment and self-ad­vance­ment. If you’re qual­i­fied and ca­pa­ble, you can con­trib­ute in the sec­tor – from site con­struc­tion all the way to the board­room.

Re­main au­then­tic and embrace your fem­i­nin­ity.

WHAT IS THE SIG­NIF­I­CANCE OF WOMEN’S DAY AND MONTH FOR YOU?

This year is par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant – we lost Mama Win­nie (Madik­izela-Man­dela), a leader, pi­o­neer, stal­wart and icon of strength in ad­ver­sity. It’s im­por­tant to con­tinue the work that was started by the women of 1956, to take the ba­ton and cre­ate space for other women to also flour­ish. De­spite the amount of work still re­quired to bring about trans­for­ma­tion, not only in this sec­tor but in var­i­ous in­dus­tries, I am re­minded of my re­spon­si­bil­ity to be part of the change, to break through per­sonal bar­ri­ers and to in­spire oth­ers. It’s in­cred­i­ble what we can achieve if we stand and lift each other as we rise.

KHANYISA TYALA

– Head of Pro­cure­ment, South Africa As Pro­cure­ment Head for South Africa, Khanyisa Tyala is re­spon­si­ble for en­forc­ing pro­cure­ment poli­cies and pro­cesses set by Cen­tral Pro­cure­ment and en­sur­ing they are ap­pli­ca­ble to the South African mar­ket. It is also her to job to en­sure that the com­pany ful­fils the pur­pose of the broader Re­new­able En­ergy In­de­pen­dent Power Pro­ducer Pro­cure­ment Pro­gram (REIPPPP) as it ap­plies to skills trans­fer and the em­pow­er­ment of small, medium and mi­cro-sized en­ter­prises (SMMEs).

WHAT ARE YOUR CA­REER HIGH­LIGHTS?

When I joined the com­pany in 2015, we started from scratch, stan­dar­d­is­ing doc­u­ments, en­sur­ing that we com­ply with lo­cal mar­ket re­quire­ments, con­duct­ing a mar­ket anal­y­sis and ven­dor scout­ing. We were able to source black-owned and BEEE-com­pli­ant sup­pli­ers in a fairly new sec­tor in South Africa.

WHAT IS YOUR UNIQUE CON­TRI­BU­TION TO THE ROLE?

My ob­jec­tive is to grow a ca­pa­ble, all-en­com­pass­ing and dy­namic team, and hope­fully make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to the sup­pli­ers we in­ter­act with in the course of our work. In a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try, I make a point of re­main­ing grounded in my fem­i­nin­ity; it is pos­si­ble to be both as­sertive and fem­i­nine. I am al­ways eager to take on new ex­pe­ri­ences and I love a good chal­lenge.

WHAT IS YOUR AD­VICE FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO WORK IN THE RE­NEW­ABLE EN­ERGY SEC­TOR?

It is an ex­cit­ing space, con­sid­er­ing global trends and ad­vances made in re­new­able en­ergy, com­ple­mented by growth po­ten­tial in the con­ti­nent and var­i­ous ca­reer and SMME op­por­tu­ni­ties. Women can play an im­por­tant role in the sec­tor.

WHAT IS THE SIG­NIF­I­CANCE OF WOMEN’S DAY AND MONTH FOR YOU?

It means the recog­ni­tion of women, mu­tual sol­i­dar­ity and sup­port.

TRENISHA HARDEV SINGH

– Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Pro­fes­sional Trenisha Hardev Singh is em­ployed in the Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment team and has been at EGP RSA for al­most three years. Her role is to in­ves­ti­gate re­new­able en­ergy op­por­tu­ni­ties and av­enues for South Africa and sub­Sa­ha­ran coun­tries and to en­sure the suc­cess­ful de­vel­op­ment of projects un­til they are ready to be con­structed.

WHAT ARE YOUR CA­REER HIGH­LIGHTS?

Work­ing in re­new­able en­ergy. Mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in our world by pro­vid­ing cleaner en­ergy is very ful­fill­ing. Gain­ing lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence. I get to meet dif­fer­ent in­di­vid­u­als – from landown­ers to share­hold­ers and fi­nanciers – each one of them with a unique per­spec­tive on re­new­able en­ergy. EGP RSA also in­vests in the com­mu­ni­ties around our power plants and see­ing the dif­fer­ence that our projects bring to these com­mu­ni­ties is en­cour­ag­ing.

WHAT IS

YOUR UNIQUE CON­TRI­BU­TION TO THE ROLE?

Over the years there has been much de­bate about women in the work­place and time and time again we have seen that di­ver­sity makes for bet­ter de­ci­sion-mak­ing and more suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ships.

I in­ter­act with mul­ti­ple stake­hold­ers and I find it easy to ad­just my ap­proach. With some stake­hold­ers you need a softer, com­pas­sion­ate ap­proach which comes rather eas­ily to me, and in other in­stances a firmer more as­sertive ap­proach is re­quired.

WHAT IS YOUR AD­VICE FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO WORK IN THE RE­NEW­ABLE EN­ERGY SEC­TOR?

While the in­dus­try is still male-dom­i­nated, we are see­ing more and more women join­ing the in­dus­try. If you have your heart set on mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in our world and leav­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact, fol­low your dreams, stay in school and study fur­ther, and you will be wel­comed into this in­no­va­tive in­dus­try. I would en­cour­age young girls to pur­sue sub­jects in sci­ence and engi­neer­ing – these will fa­cil­i­tate your en­try into the re­new­able en­ergy in­dus­try.

WHAT IS THE SIG­NIF­I­CANCE OF WOMEN’S DAY AND MONTH FOR YOU?

This is an oc­ca­sion to re­flect on the op­por­tu­ni­ties and path made eas­ier by women of the past. We are for­tu­nate to reap the ben­e­fits of the hard work of other women who fought hard against dis­crim­i­na­tory laws. We must make it worth their ef­forts and make them proud.

With­out their vic­tory in the strug­gle, I would not have had the op­por­tu­nity to be where

I am to­day. This month is a cel­e­bra­tion of per­se­ver­ance and ac­cep­tance of di­ver­sity.

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