TWIMS was delighted to be involved in the Toyota SA Women Leading the Change Initiative launch on the 1st of March 2023 showcasing women in manufacturing as the start of a broader Diversity and Inclusion initiative at Toyota South African Motors (TSAM). Academic Director of TWIMS, Dr Lisa Kinnear, facilitated a panel discussion with four courageous women leaders at TSAM, Samantha Visagie; Yamkela Ngqola; Brenda Beaumont and Lindo Mzila, who shared their personal experiences and ideas on how to make their manufacturing environment more attractive to women. We were inspired by their authenticity and challenged to do more to enable women to flourish in the sector.
Manufacturing battles to attract and retain women in leadership positions. With advanced technology changing the future skill set required in the industry, manufacturers need to tap the largest talent pool possible. Research has shown that women in leadership positions can provide greater diversity of perspectives, innovation and a more balanced approach to management. Yet women leaders still experience significant challenges and contradictions in influencing their male-dominated organisations. Simply increasing the number of women leaders in organisations is no guarantee for the empowerment of other women or the transformation of organisations. TWIMS is interested in understanding how manufacturing organisations can shift their leadership culture by engaging women from the sector in research and sharing these insights through publications and teaching programmes.
TWIMS is grateful to TSAM and the team Nosipho Khuzwayo (Hardon); Nsikelelo Radebe (MBA) Tania Hughes; Dave Finch and Thandi Orleyn for the collaboration and commitment to gender transformation.