Five women in the automotive industry, all accredited members of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud Association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), talk to us about what they love and don’t love about the industry, and how they see the industry evolving.– ARTICLE COURTESY OF RETAIL MOTORING INDUSTRY ORGANIZATION (RMI)
ANGIE LEDWABA, owner of RA Motors, Polokwane, believes more women should be studying mechanical engineering so that they can make the motor industry “more beautiful and less complicated” for future generations.
“Women are such creative and colourful beings, I am confident we can transform the industry all on our own,” she says.
People are flabbergasted by the fact that I am a business owner in such a male-dominated industry,” she says.– Angie Ledwaba, Owner of RA Motors
Angie admits she has had to develop a thick skin to ward off discrimination, but she actually finds the industry fascinating because it is male-dominated.
“I managed my brother’s workshop for 10 years before buying my own, so now I almost feel like I’m giving back in a way. People are flabbergasted by the fact that I am a business owner in such a male-dominated industry,” she says.
“Many don’t take you seriously because they believe they can’t get professional help from a woman. I’ve been discriminated against by dealers who have been in business for a long time, as well as the government and private sectors.”
Angie would like to see more educational workshops being offered to expose women to career opportunities in the industry, and she wants to own an engineering company where she can upskill people in mechanical engineering and then employ them.