BUSISIWE NGWALANGWALA: Maintenance Coordinator at the Ebor Automotive Systems Port Elizabeth Plant

#AutomotiveAllies: Busisiwe Ngwalangwala, nominated by Nigel Bennett and David Kolm, is the Maintenance Coordinator at the Ebor Automotive Systems Port Elizabeth Plant. Graduating from Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in 2013, Busisiwe holds a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering. In 2019, she received a 1 year Certificate in Project Management at NMU Business School. Busisiwe, who has been at Ebor for over a year, has also received substantial support from her manager, David Kolm, who has recently afforded her the opportunity to do online studies in Facilities Management through the University of Cape Town in partnership with GetSmarter.

Busisiwe has more than 15 years of experience in the automotive industry, holding various positions and gaining extensive knowledge of business operational strategies, policies, processes and controls. Busisiwe is an accomplished and self-motivated individual and is driven by the need to achieve, exceed high standards and meet organisational requirements. Busisiwe’s character, combined with her proven capabilities, experience and a strong understanding of the industry have made her a perfect fit within Ebor and has helped her develop strong relationships with co-workers, customers and external service providers. Busisiwe’s responsibilities as Maintenance Coordinator include planning, scheduling and organizing all Maintenance Activities to properly maintain equipment and facilities to improve plant efficiency. She ensures assigned contractors comply with Ebor Health and Safety regulations. Additionally, she is a champion in the implementation of Energy Management Systems.

Reflecting on what it means to be a woman within the automotive industry, Busisiwe has found that women face more pressure within the workplace to constantly prove themselves. This was a challenge when starting her career but it has got better with time. Offering advice to her younger self and young women entering the industry, Busisiwe provides five key factors to remember when working in a male dominated environment:

  1. Always conduct yourself professionally and with respect.
  2. Learning is the key. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when in doubt.
  3. Don’t let gender be an issue and don’t be a victim.
  4. Enter meetings and discussions with a positive attitude.
  5. Never allow the possibility that someone is treating you differently because you are a woman.