Plumbing Africa August 2018 - Page 71

FEATURES 69 Knowledge is power, say women in industry This month we celebrate women in industry and how they have made a difference. Plumbing Africa speaks to two women fulfilling distinct roles in the plumbing industry to learn more. Compiled by Cherry Ellis She was the co-author of multiple books with her husband; however, the publishers were concerned about her credibility as a female author (even though she had a doctorate while her husband never attended college), so she wasn’t named on the books. Gilbreth was instrumental in the development of the modern kitchen and is credited for the invention of shelving in refrigerator doors and the foot-pedal garbage can. She was also one of the first to consider stress and fatigue associated with workloads and time management. Although today’s women are finding it easier to pave a way for themselves, they occasionally have to overcome certain challenges. Jacky Rossouw, sales director at Lecico SA, says by pure chance did she happen to ‘choose’ her career. “I had relocated to the Western Cape and needed employment, so when the opportunity arose as an office temp for Lecico SA, I jumped on the wagon and had every intention of cementing my place on a permanent basis,” says Rossouw. That was 15 years ago. “The industry has always been male dominated, which meant that I needed to work twice as hard to be taken seriously by my male counterparts. My approach was to learn as much as I possibly could about the industry and portray confidence when dealing with my male counterparts. I think that this was a good recipe, and I have earned their respect. I am now seen as part of a team where my opinion is valued and respected,” says Rossouw. She and her husband performed the time and motion study that is currently applicable to the improvement and upgrading of work systems. The Gilbreths are also recognised for their contribution to job simplification, job standardisation, and innovations in workplace efficiency like improved lighting and regular breaks. She believes she has made a difference in her department by displaying confidence, with resilience and a determination to succeed in the industry. “This has been a positive contribution, especially to the women on my team. By absorbing as much information as I possibly could, remaining humble and always being open to advice, have gained me the respect of my entire team.” In 1966, she won the Hoover Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers. She became the first female professor in the engineering school at Purdue University and the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering As the sales director of Lecico SA, her key focus is long-term strategic planning for the company. Along with this, is meeting targets, keeping her team highly motivated, and ensuring that their customer service standards are exceptional. Services Doing research on women in construction, it was interesting to learn that Lillian Gilbreth, known as the woman of modern management and as ‘a genius in the art of living’, was one of the first working female engineers to hold a PhD. She combined the perspectives of an engineer, a psychologist, a wife, and a mother of 12; she also became the first female member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1926. Lillian Gilbreth became the first female member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1926. August 2018 Volume 24 I Number 6