Women’s Month serves as a reminder for Engen to celebrate the extraordinary roles of women in all spheres of society, as well as, remembering the iconic South African women that fought the struggle against Apartheid.
Engen employee Mokgadi Phaahla, who grew up in Lebowakgomo near Polokwane and matriculated from S.J Van Der Merwe Technical High School, holds the personal philosophy that “it doesn’t matter where you come from, you are more than capable of reaching whatever you set your mind to.”
The 23-year-old believes that it is important for women to believe in themselves.
“All it takes is confidence and believing in yourself,” says Mokgadi. “Just do what you can, with what you have, and where you are.
“You don’t need to wait for the perfect time to do something, just start where you are and do the best you can.”
Today Mokgadi is a proud graduate of North-West University and holds a BCom Honours Degree in Human Resources.
Thanks to Engen she has secured a place on the company’s prestigious 2-year Graduate Development Programme, working in the Human Resource department in Cape Town.
“I joined the Engen Graduate Development Programme last year in December and have already learned so much in such a short space of time. My journey has been so incredibly empowering.”
Mokgadi says one of her greatest challenges has been relocating to Cape Town.
“I jumped at the opportunity to join the Engen Graduate Programme but leaving my home and family has been difficult.
“I love where I come from, and it is always a breath of fresh air every time I go home but I know that I have made the right decision for my future self.”
Reflecting on what is important to her, Mokgadi says she wants to help those who come after her, and to make a positive impact in her community.
Mokgadi says one of her proudest moments was becoming a member of the Golden Key Honours Society at university.
“I was recognised as one of the top 15% academic achievers in my faculty for two years consecutive years at NWU.”
What concerns her most about the world is the state of South Africa’s economy and the soaring unemployment statistics.
“As a talent acquisition Trainee, I have always been interested in recruitment and the difference I can make in that space. Hopefully each new appointment made, closes the unemployment gap.”
For Engen, Women’s Month is poignant time to acknowledge the talent and determination of talented women such as Mokgadi.
As a company that is passionate about progress and seeks to provide opportunities for talented young adults to explore new horizons, Engen’s Graduate Development Programme offers recent graduates, valuable work experience across a broad range of business functions.
“The aim is to ensure that all participants emerge as highly employable individuals, bolstered by enhanced confidence, workplace experience, and a comprehensive understanding of working in teams,” says Engen Skills Development Manager, Mmalenyalo Galane.
Explains Galane further: “It is Engen’s ultimate reward to help set talented people up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also their families and the broader economy of South Africa.
“As a company, Engen is firmly committed to building tomorrow’s leaders and if we want to ensure that the youth of tomorrow are prepared for a rapidly changing world, we need to ensure that they have the right mix of skills for them to reach their full potential,” she adds.
In 2022, Engen invested R14.7million in Learnerships and Bursaries, along with a further R33 million in other social causes, such as its flagship CSI programme, the Engen Maths and Science Schools.
As a company, Engen champions nine UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 5 – Gender Equality, which aims to end gender inequality through actions that eliminate discrimination that curtail women’s rights in both the private and public spheres.
Engen is keenly aware that equality is everybody’s business, and that it owes it to its employees, customers, and broader society to make every effort to drive positive change.
Engen salutes all the women of South Africa.