#Wiki4Her Profile – Thandi Radebe

Name & Surname

 Thandi Radebe

 Company

 Transnet Freight Rail

Position

Specialist: Technical Skills Transfer

Sector

Engineering (Training & Development)

Website

https://www.transnet.net

What things/people/roles have contributed most to your success?

I have learnt that patience is a virtue, that if you really want something, sometimes it might take you a longer time that you thought.

My late father was my greatest inspiration, although uneducated but each and every time I come home with a degree, he would say well done my baby this is for those of us who couldn’t manage to get an education.

My current role as a technical skills transfer specialist keeps on my toes, I mentor and coach Engineers, Technologists and Technicians. This group of individuals are so sophisticated, well educated, innovative, philosophers and great thinkers.

If you knew all that you now know, what would you tell your 18 year old self?

I think I don’t subscribe to what could have been, but on the other side I strongly believe that obstacles, hardship, Trials and tribulations shape our future, our thoughts and they are part of our journey in life. There is no total smooth journey to self discovery we take the good and the bad experiences with.

When things get tough, how do you keep yourself going?

Truly, I smile and keep going as if nothing happened and during that time I’m asking God for solutions.

What leadership qualities do you most admire?

Developing others, is like you are duplicating yourself over and over again so that when I’m gone there will no vacuum.

Victimhood, does that stance serve women’s causes? Women are still exploited, so what would you tell them?

I say as women nobody owes us anything, rather we owe it to our selves to stay the cause and prove to ourselves and those around us how capable are we.

Do you mentor any girls as part of your personal and/or corporate responsibility?

I mentor a group of young women and young men.

What are some of the leadership challenges/obstacles that are unique to women?

I find out that we sometimes limit ourselves by waiting for others approval, we seldomley take risks. We are not courageous and confident enough to say I am capable, I can do it, I can lead etc.

Why did you choose your career?

I wanted to break the stigma and the boundaries. Growing up in the township we never heard of any engineers, so I said to my self I will be the first one and encourage others to follow suit. I think to this day that was the wisest choice i have ever made with my life and career.

Are the lives of famous women leaders a lot easier than those of the average women today?

No, on the contrary their lives are more difficult because of the belief that as women you have to twice or three times as good as your male counter-part.

Gender quotas on boards are a contentious issue, what do you think about it?

Well, that’s another mind-set that we need to get rid of, that if you appoint a women a leader irrespective of the company, you will scare investors away. Well I say let them be scared because this woman is going no-where soon.

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