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Sisi Salutes Industry Superwomen

For more than a decade, Sisi has been proudly servicing the workplace safety needs of female workers.

As one of BBF Safety Group’s market-leading brands, Sisi supports the right of women in industry to safety wear that’s designed specifically to suit the needs of the female anatomy, as opposed to that of their male counterparts.

The Sisi range of safety footwear, workwear and most recently, fall-arrest systems, gives women the freedom to work with the comfort and dignity that they deserve, allowing them to focus on the task at hand by eliminating distractions caused through ill-fitting PPE.

Industry women have spoken and Sisi has heard them.

This Women’s Month, Sisi celebrates the formidable women within the BBF Safety Group who make a remarkable contribution to the business and the manufacturing industry at large. Each week this month, we’ll be featuring several of these women who opened up to us about their journeys to where they are today, the challenges they’ve overcome and why they remain fiercely committed to the safety industry.

Here are this week’s featured BBF Safety Group Superwomen:

Wendy Vaaltyn – Production Supervisor

  • What has been the highlight of your career journey?

Having the opportunity to work for and grow with the business for 25 years has been an amazing experience. I have felt such appreciation from the company for my potential, ability and loyalty.

  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced, being a women in a male-dominated industry?

Shifting the mindset of some employees around female women in the industry – especially in leadership – has been my greatest challenge.

  • How have you overcome these challenges?

I’ve always believed in having an open door policy to listen to employees’ concerns and issues and show genuine concern for the wellbeing of staff. I think that this has definitely helped with winning them over to accept me as their leader.

  • Why are you so committed to the industry, despite these challenges?

(Beaming with pride) Wow, I just love my work. I love working with people. I love this business.

  • Why do you think it’s important for more women to be part of this industry?

I think it’s important for women to empower themselves and be independent. The fact that an industry is male-dominated shouldn’t dictate their right to be in that industry.

  • What message do you have for other women facing challenges and obstacles in their career journeys?

We, as women, must speak up when we feel unhappy, so that issues around gender inequality can be heard and changed.

 

Lena Baloyi – Factory Supervisor

  • What has been the highlight of your career journey?

I can say that I honestly find my job interesting and fun, particularly the work for the medical industry – manufacturing bandages, sourcing raw materials and booking orders. I think that loving my work is the highlight for me.

  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced, being a women in a male-dominated industry?

People don’t always treat you the same as the men you work with. They don’t always take you as seriously or value your opinion as much. It takes a lot of work to prove yourself.

  • How have you overcome these challenges?

I make sure that I’m strong, that I always put in the extra effort in everything I do and always stay positive. I try to remember that I have the power to set a good example to all those around me.

  • Why are you so committed to the industry, despite these challenges?

Knowing that I’m helping people and helping to save lives, that is what this job is about for me and why I’m committed to it.

  • Why do you think it’s important for more women to be part of this industry?

I think women need to change the thinking that women belong at home and that this industry – and other industries – are only for men. It’s a tough industry, but women are also tough and can do the job.

  • What message do you have for other women facing challenges and obstacles in their career journeys?

Empower yourselves. Whatever you do, do the best that you can. You can do anything.

 

Beryl Snyman- Finishing Supervisor

  • What has been the highlight of your career journey?

My highlight was definitely becoming the first female Supervisor in the Finishing Department. With the company now having more female Supervisors, it shows how we are growing in gender equality.

  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced, being a women in a male-dominated industry?

I think that the need for physical power in the industry has been a challenge. Sometimes you need to lift or carry something very heavy that a man may have more physical strength to do. I am lucky that my department is actually female-dominant, so we don’t experience a lot of the  issues that a lot of women in the industry experience, like being pushed aside.

  • How have/do you overcome these challenges?

I think that being a shop steward before this role taught me to speak up, so when I need something or have a problem, I speak up and voice my opinions to be heard.

  • Why are you so committed to the industry, despite these challenges?

When you work with people every day, you form relationships with them and they become your ‘family’. So, when I get up for work, I feel like I’m leaving my family at home, to come to my other family at work. And, like any family, we have our ups and downs, but I’m committed to my work family.

  • Why do you think it’s important for more women to be part of this industry?

I think there’s a need for more women in upper management in the industry because I believe that a woman can do anything that a man can do. I believe that it’s time that we start learning to voice ourselves and to show people that we are capable of doing anything and shouldn’t be undermined.

  • What message do you have for other women facing challenges and obstacles in their career journeys?

Persevere. Perseverance takes you a long way. It teaches you to learn and how to handle situations and challenges better.