CAPE TOWN - Women in the energy sector say while things were changing, there were still certain roles that women were expected to perform, a perception which could prevent Africa's energy sector from progress and development.
According to Miriam Mannak, a freelance energy correspondent and event ambassador, Africa's energy sector would not be able to develop, progress, and remain competitive and relevant if it refused to transform and move on from being predominantly male-based structure to a diverse status quo.
“Gender diversity is a no-brainer, particularly considering the large numbers of women graduating from university. What applies to companies, applies to entire sectors,” she said.
“I still have a good laugh every now and then when I enter a meeting and they assume I am either our CEO’s personal assistant or the ‘marketing lady’,” said Zelda Weitz, COO of Symbion Power LLC, an independent power producer on the continent, who has worked and traveled in 29 countries in Africa.
“I was once at a project meeting where the client asked me to take the notes because I was the only female present. He blushed afterwards when I gave him my business card. You develop a thick skin and maintain a good sense of humour.