19 June 2024

Jabu Nhlapo, engineering manager (resources).

In this six-part series, Zutari commemorates the annual event that celebrates the incredible contributions of women engineers worldwide, International Women in Engineering Day (INWED).

INWED marks its 11th anniversary in 2024 under the theme of #Enhancedbyengineering. This year, INWED celebrates women engineers who have enhanced lives and livelihoods through their work. These remarkable individuals contribute to building a brighter future for all of us.

Jabu Nhlapo, engineering manager (resources)

Nhlapo has a BSc (Honours) in mechanical engineering and obtained her MBA in 2020. She has 16 years’ industry experience, 11 at global engineering firms. Her role is to provide technical leadership to the engineering team. This involves organising the engineering on large projects and ensuring that all the engineering discipline designs are properly integrated and coordinated.

“Africa is a resource-rich continent but there is a gap in the availability of infrastructure and technology to support economic growth. This scenario presents great opportunities for professionals like me to become involved in the sustainable development of our continent,” comments Nhlapo.

“I am passionate about engineering because it gives me a platform to contribute to the growth and development of the African continent through large infrastructure projects. I have been privileged to be involved in some incredible projects that have changed and uplifted communities,” she adds.

Nhlapo emphasises the importance of embracing diversity in the workplace. She believes it is crucial to welcome people from different backgrounds and cultures and with various voices. Doing so allows a business to attract the best skills and talent. She stresses that the quality of future professionals is partially determined by our willingness to impart knowledge and skills.

Her message to young girls is to consider the great opportunities in technical professional fields. There are also new emerging fields and disciplines due to rapid changes in technology. This presents growing opportunities that can be leveraged.

“Make a deliberate effort to educate and expose yourself through the resources you have available to you. Find opportunities to job shadow and intern to further develop your understanding of the world of work you will ultimately enter into,” she advises.

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