Celebrating Women’s Month 2020
In celebration of Women’s Month, Hlengiwe Cebekhulu, a technician who joined Naidu Consulting through the Academy of Excellence Programme shares about her inspiration of becoming an engineer and her experience at Naidu Consulting.
Hlengiwe grew up in the Macekane Village (Empangeni), where she would travel kilometers to fetch water, to then share it with the cattle in her homestead. Determined to contribute to her community, Hlengiwe made a decision to become a civil engineer to accelerate infrastructure improvement to communities such as Macekane.
“I realised the challenges facing women in this industry particularly the negative perception of our ability to perform in the historical men-led industry. I drew inspiration from women who have gone against the grain and gained success in the industry and decided to pursue an engineering career with belief that I could achieve success.”
Hlengiwe joined Naidu Consulting (NC) as a student from Mangosuthu University of Technology through the Academy of Excellence Programme in 2019 to complete her in-service training. She worked in all of our divisions on a rotational basis and gained vast exposure to engineering works. She was empowered to take responsibility for components of work under the guidance of supervisory staff who continually supported her throughout her training. “I was made to feel a part of the team despite being a female and a student. I acquired many skills during this period and was further capacitated through a Project Management Learnership.”
Hlengiwe’s passion, dedication, and enthusiasm did not go unnoticed and she was offered a position as a technician at Naidu Consulting, working in the Contract Management Division following the completion of her studies. On receiving the news: “I was overwhelmed and I ran out of words to respond. I remember saying thank you for the opportunity but still wanted to say more but couldn’t as I had to hold back tears of joy.”
“Working at Naidu Consulting has inspired my growth. My outlook as a woman in industry, is positive and I feel confident knowing that there are people and organisations who make a concerted effort to create an inclusive environment to work in. I am privileged to be mentored by experienced individuals who continuously provide me with direction and goals that will ensure growth in my career. I am proud to be a part of a dynamic team of individuals, who together strive to achieve excellence and leave a legacy for future generations.”
Hlengiwe currently chairs the Youth Programme – focusing on nurturing the future leaders of the company through various youth initiatives.