Breaking Barriers and Building Dreams: Celebrating Women in the Construction Industry on Women’s Day

As we commemorate Women’s Month in South Africa, we turn our focus to honour the remarkable achievements of women in various fields, and today, we shine a spotlight on the cement manufacturing industry.

In an industry traditionally dominated by men, countless trailblazing women have been fearlessly breaking barriers, reshaping perceptions, and leaving an indelible mark on the construction landscape. One such inspiring figure is Marieta Buckle, Process Technology Manager at AfriSam, who is leading her team and the industry towards a future that prioritises sustainability and inclusivity.

Marieta opens up about her role, stating, “My core responsibilities include managing a technical team that assists in optimising cement manufacturing operations. We focus on process control, technical design, and sustainability initiatives to drive positive change within the industry.”

Reflecting on her journey in the construction sector, Marieta recalls, “The construction industry has continually provided opportunities for growth and posed exciting challenges. Overcoming these required a determined focus on factual and technical communication and most importantly, not shying away from hands-on tasks on-site.”

As the industry’s landscape evolves, Marieta passionately expresses, “The construction sector is no longer a field limited to one gender. Women have started gaining acceptance not only at the professional level but also in trade and skilled workforce areas. Despite the cyclical nature of the construction industry, it will always require skilled and motivated individuals.”

Among Marieta’s accomplishments, she shares, “One of my achievements is my contribution towards making the cement industry more sustainable. At AfriSam, we conduct carbon footprinting calculations for our products and strive to establish improvements in managing and reducing GHG emissions.”

Marieta firmly believes that women’s distinctive nurturing nature significantly contributes to the construction sector, stating, “Women bring a unique quality to the workplace, making it easier for them to adopt a servant leadership style. This, in turn, helps build stronger teams and ensures a more engaged workforce.”

Envisioning a more inclusive construction industry, Marieta concludes, “If you are passionate about your work, you can become the change the industry requires, contribute to its growth, and champion the cause of diversity, sustainability, and equal opportunities.”

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