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Celebrating the women in construction, architecture and design

by Ofentse Sefolo
Celebrating the women in construction, architecture and design

When I was young, I wanted to be an engineer. I also wanted to be an astronaut, but engineering seemed “do-able”.

The headmaster at my school vigorously advised my parents and myself against it. In these days, girls in many schools were actively discouraged from pursuing certain careers. Particularly those in STEM. Therefore, I have such admiration for the women that, against societal prejudices and obstacles, were able to carve out beautiful careers in architecture, design, property development and engineering. And in this annual supplement we celebrate those women.

At Media in Africa Group, I am fortunate to work with a group of incredibly talented, ambitious, caring and driven women who show leadership, competency and empathy in spades and work incredibly hard to over-deliver to our clients and audience.

During my career, I’ve had the opportunity to be in the company of incredible women – ladies who have taught me well and shown me what it takes to get the work done. Women who have different personalities, roles and backgrounds.

Is the construction industry still hard for women? Yes. For various reasons. Access to facilities on site, going double the distance to prove ourselves, tackling misrepresentation and false perceptions, our familial circumstances . . . but it has come a LONG way and we should celebrate that. We are seeing more and more women leading projects and even women leading construction companies.

We are seeing more women getting a seat at the table, on site and in the boardroom; and we should applaud the companies that embrace this for the worth it gives.

What is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt? Be you. Be authentic. The world needs more people being themselves. Second biggest lesson: Help others wherever you can!

Here’s to all the strong women – may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!

MARLENE VAN ROOYEN
Owner & CEO

Marlene has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the industry and has been with the company for over 22 years. Her dedication to excellence is highlighted by the multiple national and international awards she has received over the years. Marlene is highly regarded and trusted by specifiers as well as manufacturers in the built environment.

GERDA COWLEY
Owner & Financial Director

Gerda has been with the company for over 10 years and has a great passion for attention to detail. Her professionalism when dealing with clients and financials sets her apart in her field.

MADELEIN SMITH
Business Unit Coordinator

Madelein has been with the company for 23 years and her dedication to customer service is second to none. Over the years Madelein established great working relationships with clients and is well known by most in the industry. Her dedication and people skills are legendary.

SANTIE KOCH
Advertising Account Manager
Santie has been with the company for 6 years. Santie assists businesses (suppliers and manufacturers) in the construction industry to reach the commercial specifying audience. Santie pays great attention to detail and always has the client’s best interest at heart.

OFENTSE SEFOLO
Digital Manager
Ofentse is the newest member on the team. Ofentse has over 10 years experience in the media industry. Ofentse has a great passion for digital marketing and dedicates herself to creating meaningful and successful campaigns for our clients.

LIEZEL VAN DER MERWE
Contributing Editor
Liezel brings many years of experience in the flooring industry, coupled with a deep knowledge and passion for marketing to the product suite.

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