THABITA JOUBERT: Total Customer Satisfaction Manager for Faurecia South Africa

#AutomotiveAllies: Thabita Joubert, nominated by Sebastien Koehler, is the Total Customer Satisfaction Manager for Faurecia South Africa.

Thabita grew up in a large family in Brits.  She started working directly after school since her parents could not afford to send her to university.  Thabita entered the Automotive industry in the early 1990s as a Secretary where she fell in love with Quality.  At some point in time, the Nursery fees began exceeding her take-home pay as a secretary and her husband gave her an ultimatum – build a career or stay at home.  While raising 3 kids and working full time, Thabita started studying.  She finished her Production Management Diploma after 10 years.  Thabtia persevered and completed a B-tech Degree in Quality and an MBA.

Studying part-time for more than 15 years and a husband with a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences created a culture of education in their home that laid the foundation for their children to become a Surgeon, Electrical and Mechatronics Engineers.

During this period, Thabita worked herself up from grassroots to Quality Manager for various Automotive 1st tier suppliers. Thabita recalls it being tough to be a woman in a male-dominated industry but the industry suited her go-getter personality. Thabita did not get discouraged – she just kept going.

During her years in the Automotive industry, she has seen Quality Management Systems Standards come and go from SABS 0157 to QS 9000, ISO/TS16949, and now IATF 16949.  But one fundamental never changed – the goal to ensure Total Customer Satisfaction. Thabita jumped at the opportunity in 2018 to join Faurecia, a world leader in the Automotive Industry with a passion to deliver 5-star customer experience.   Today, as Total Customer Satisfaction Manager, Thabita’s goal is to lead the way for Faurecians to deliver 5-star customer experience.  They can only achieve this by being engaged, proactive, transparent, accountable, and easy to do business with.

Advice Thabita would give her younger self and other women in the industry:

#ThingsIWishIKnew: Girl, you are a woman with unique skills and abilities. Do not try to participate in the automotive industry like a man.  Use your unique skills and creativity to shape and revolutionise this industry. Walk with integrity, work hard, and make it happen.

#TheFutureIsFemale: Knowledge is power.  Successful female executives need to empower other women with knowledge to ensure they never stop growing.  Faurecia, with the best and widest range of learning opportunities I have seen in the industry, is the perfect environment to achieve this objective.  We need to invest in female-based leadership programs geared for the automotive industry in conjunction with a forum for female professionals to discuss issues impacting women in the automotive industry.