Women who participate in the rail sector – moving South Africa.
As Metrorail celebrates 60 years of inspiring women in the rail sector, GoMetro is commemorating this year’s women’s month under the national theme “Women united in moving South Africa forward.”
We therefore spoke to the Public Relations officer and Marketing and Communication manager Tintswalo Maswanganye of Metrorail. Maswangaye started her career in 2005 when she joined Metrorail working as a secretary, in 2007 she was promoted to an admin official.
Interview with Tintswalo
Tintswalo explained that it is important for women to find role models within one’s industry who believes in them and who are willing to help shape their careers. She also mentioned that she was fortunate to have met inspiring women who groomed her to be where she is. “I was lucky to have a women who believed in me and motivated me. I looked up to my late mother and Thokozani Zitha, former Marketing and Communication manager of Metrorail”, she said.
Government is committed to gender fairness, nonetheless the gap of gender imbalance is still vast. Tintswalo highlighted some of the major challenges faced by women in rail. During her 11 years of service in the rail sector she depicted that men are still dominating the rail industry. “Commuters don’t trust woman train drivers. Women need to work extra hard to impress in their jobs and to curb stereotypes”, she said.
View of Woman in the Rail Sector
Tintswalo says that she is proud to be led by a woman: Lillian Mofokeng – Senior Manager of Marketing and Communication and Thembela Khulu Provincial Manager of Metrorail. Lillian leads over 3500 employees, who reports to her. She also emphasised the role of education in the industry. “Education provides the opportunity to upskill. Opportunities for women are available in Metrorail particularly in engineering field, technical coordinators, technicians, drivers, and managerial positions. Candidates get appointed for these positions based on merit.”
Although education is fundamental in the industry, Maswangaye outlines patience and guidance as critical elements to build one’s career. She accentuated that rail sector is a demanding environment. “I have accomplished a lot since 2009 when I started working in the Marketing and Communication department. I established a radio update team for Metrorail which reports train updates in various local and mainstream radio stations of South Africa” she said.
Maswangaye said she wants to leave a mark as a woman in Metrorail, “there is a greater need for women to participate in the rail sector, I feel I can achieve more.” She explained that nothing comes easy in life. “The right attitude, vision and a room for learning are the key aspects to determine your growth.”
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