-

Energize Female “powerhouses” make a positive impact in the industrial...
- Advertisment -

Female “powerhouses” make a positive impact in the industrial sector

- Advertisment -

Rand-Air forms part of the global Atlas Copco Group and both organisations’ South African operations are led by women. These the two leaders offer insights into the qualities which have led them each to their current high-level positions in the equipment rental and industrial sector.

Wendy Buffa-Pace is the vice president and managing director of Atlas Copco Group SA; while Kim Coetzee is the general manager of Rand-Air. As such, they are both testament to the growing influence of women within senior positions, in what are typically considered male-dominated sectors of industry.

While each woman has risen to her present position via a different route, there are many synergies when it comes to business practices.

Buffa-Pace believes that throughout her career, by viewing every challenge as an opportunity, she was able to “read” the business landscape and keep an eye open for opportunities.

Coetzee echoes this sentiment and states that a positive attitude and looking beyond her role – with a holistic overview – has helped her reach her present position.

“I really believe that being positive and passionate within your role opens doors to extensive opportunities. Therefore, I am not limited by a title,” she adds.

Both are relatively new to their roles, encountering similar environments when they were each appointed. Coetzee says that her new role created excitement and enthusiasm and she was eager to embrace it.

“As a go-getter, I was eager to take on the responsibilities – when, three months in, the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in South Africa and everything basically ground to a halt.”

Buffa-Pace agrees: “It was as a well-known quote goes, a case of “the best laid plans of mice and men” going awry. No sooner was I set to shoulder the role and make a positive impact, than Covid-19 arrived. That said, this is where the ability to draw on the resources of an agile team came to the fore,” she adds.

To this point, both women see close collaboration with their respective teams as crucial to developing an agile mind set and getting through a challenging period such as 2020, with work teams able to “pivot” at short notice, adapting as needed and yet remaining simultaneously cohesive.

Nevertheless, both women emphasise that being an example to their teams is vital to coping with the changing landscape. Coetzee says, that while people have skills, one cannot teach intangibles such as passion which is where her team excels.

“All my experience has led to where I am right now: I am exactly where I want to be,” she says.

While the perception is that there are few women in senior roles in their sectors, both women report that the landscape is changing in this regard.

“Rand-Air has always been female-dominated, even though the industry has traditionally been male-dominated. However, over the past decade, I am encouraged to see some change has occurred in the wider industry,” Coetzee points out.

Buffa-Pace concurs, adding: “I can say that I am privileged to be part of a progressive, global organisation which focuses on diversity across the board. It is not good enough to simply have women making up numbers, but to have women progressing in their careers and achieving in senior positions.”

Speaking to the need for women to support other women in the workplace, Buffa-Pace comments that throughout her career she has only ever encountered supportive women who have helped her. She points out that it is a matter of how one perceives the actions of other women when countered or criticised – not taking anything personally, but rather in the constructive spirit in which it is offered.

Within the business world, there is sometimes the perception that women may appear abrasive and are sometimes perceived as aggressive. Buffa-Pace comments, “It is really a case of addressing issues as they arise, of ‘having the conversation’ – facing and not veering away from an issue. It is also the manner in which one addresses a situation, of developing a skill in which to address a sensitive issue without creating a defensive response. People will respond depending on how they are addressed.”

“My one piece of advice would be ‘don’t be so hard on yourself, and believe that whatever you put your mind to, you can achieve!” Coetzee concludes.

Contact Byrone Thorne, Rand-Air, Tel 011 345-0700, byrone.thorne@za.atlascopco.com

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles

Independent transmission system “essential” to end load shedding

by Roger Lilley, Now Media  -   To overcome the scourge of load shedding, two components are urgently needed: more generating capacity and an improved and...

Drivers improving the business case for solar power

Information from IM Power  -   Covid-19 has presented businesses with the opportunity to re-evaluate both their operational models and costs. Proactive organisations found themselves navigating...

Temperature monitor and controller saves municipality money

Instrotech recently supplied its DPM4003 and DPM3001M (low- and high-alarm relay output) temperature indicators to Levivi22 Engineering and Projects, the company contracted by Tshwane...

Undertaking wall thickness testing at Tutuka

During the lockdown in June, rope-access specialist Skyriders undertook an inspection of pulverised fuel (PF) piping at Tutuka power station near Standerton in Mpumalanga...

Rentable solar power now available

Aggreko, a leading provider of mobile, modular power, temperature control and energy services, today announces the immediate availability of its solar power rental offer....

EU solar power association signs cooperation agreement with SAPVIA

SolarPower Europe and the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation and explore new business...

First BW4 wind farm celebrates commencement of commercial operations

South Africa’s first bid window four (BW4) wind farm, part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), has announced its Commercial...

Maintaining backup battery systems for maximum usage and reliability

Information from Fluke  -   Most backup power systems use an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) and a string of batteries. The UPS backs up the digital...

Renewable energy company offers bursaries for tertiary education

Globeleq, a leading independent power producer operating in Africa, is offering bursaries for tertiary education. The Globeleq Scholarship Fund aims to develop skills needed...

SA’s Risk Mitigation tender and what it means for energy storage, renewables and gas

by Andy Colthorpe, Energy-Storage news  -   South Africa’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy is conducting a fairly unique procurement programme for 2 GW of...

Eskom acknowledges load shedding’s damage to the economy, promises improvement

Eskom's CEO, Andre de Ruyter, says the power utility understands that it has a critical role to play in enabling South Africa's economic recovery...

MEA Energy Week conference draws world-class lineup

Information from Siemens  -  Siemens Energy and partners are holding a major Middle East and Africa-focused virtual conference, entitled ‘Shaping the Energy of Tomorrow’, from...

How to classify outdoor circuit breakers

Information from Noja Power  -   Electrical engineering switchgear classification is a challenging topic. With the varied terminology for electrical equipment around the world, clarity on...

What’s on the energy storage market besides Li-ion batteries?

Information from IDTechEx  -   While Li-ion batteries are dominating the stationary energy storage sector, a growing number of companies are developing different technologies to be...

Electrical junction box offers ten entries

A rectangular-shaped junction box, which is both Ex e and IP68 certified, is now available from Pratley. Known as the Enviro Rectangular Junction Box,...
- Advertisement -