The winners of the fourth annual women in construction awards, recognising excellence in Africa, were announced on 10 May 2016.

Recognising and celebrating the role of women in the African construction, cement and concrete industry, the fourth annual Women in Construction Awards concluded on 10 May 2016 with the winners being announced at a prestigious function at Gallagher Convention Centre.

Hosted by the City of Joburg, alongside the sponsors, NHBRC, CETA, SEDA Construction Incubator and The City of Cape Town’s Transport Authority, as a side event of the Totally Concrete Expo, over 300 guests applauded both the finalists and winners of the competition.

Comprising of both individual and organisational categories, the awards acknowledge the increasing importance of women in the industry. A judging panel of 19 global industry experts scrutinised the 37 nominations and identified five individual finalists, representative of three African countries, as well as six organisational finalists, from which the winners were chosen.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
The individual categories recognise women who are pioneers in innovation within the built environment, as well as identify new starters – women younger than 30 years – who through their efforts have been identified as women to keep an eye on as they get a foothold within the sector.

•    Winner: Pioneer of Innovation
Noluthando Molao (37), Associate Director, Turner & Townsend, Johannesburg
“Winning the award is recognition of all the hard work I’ve put in over the last ten years while building my career. I’d like to encourage other women who want to break into the construction industry by saying that anything is possible with hard work, perseverance and a plan. It’s vital to remember no one wins alone. I have learnt that different people have different strengths and one should be able to acknowledge this and draw from this,” Noluthando comments.

•    Winner: New Starter of the Year (under 30)
Etheldreder Koppa, Assistant Project Manager, National Housing Corporation, Tanzania

ORGANISATIONAL AWARDS
The organisational category acknowledges organisations that have stepped up and developed women’s roles through innovative training programmes as well showed their commitment to developing the careers of women in the industry.

•    Excellence in Career Development
Thobile Bhembe (35), Junior Site Agent, Inyatsi Construction Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Swaziland
“I am honoured to receive this award. I am also proud to be the first female site agent at Inyatsi Construction Group Holdings. I’d like to remind the youth interested in the construction industry to not only like Mathematics and Science, but work hard at it too. Construction is not just for certain people, it’s for everyone,” Thobile comments.

•    Most Innovative Women Training Programme
The City of Cape Town’s Transport Authority, Cape Town

“The Women in Construction Awards is an enabler, which shows women that their efforts within the industry are recognised,” says Women in Construction Awards Director, Athi Myoli. “Seeing and hearing about women excelling in the construction sector proves that there is support for women in this male dominated industry,” she adds.

For more information on the Women in Construction Awards, visit www.womeninconstruction.co.za.