Following the initial success of the Southern African Females in Energy Efficiency (Safee) mentorship programmes in the past year, Safee aims to establish the mentorship programme in other provinces, as well as host Safee chapters at various tertiary institutions in the country.
“We would like to take the mentorship programme national, and to a point where it becomes something that is all around the Southern African Development Community,” said Safee board member Lesego Gaegane.
She participated in Safee’s latest women student mentorship programme event, held at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) campus, in Pretoria West, last month.
Safee, a division of the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE), focuses primarily on supporting and celebrating the role of women in the energy efficiency industry and comprises energy efficiency professionals working to reduce energy waste in business and in homes.
The division also aimed to establish a large representation of women playing an influential role in the energy management sector through coaching and mentoring, creating a platform for females in energy management to support one another through the exchange of information, Safee board member Coretta Mohale highlighted at the event.
She added that Safee acted as “a representative voice for women in the sector through advocacy and [exercising] influence in support of the SAEE vision”.
Gaegane explained that, during the three- to four-month mentorship programmes, third- or final-year female students share their ideas and aspirations with mentors – “seasoned professionals”, as well as raise concerns about venturing and fitting into the energy sector, which has been and to some still are a gender-disparate sector.
Mentors share their experiences, successes, challenges and strategies for engagement in this space.
“The mentoring programme aims to assist, equip, mentor and develop students to become professionals, while encouraging them about the possible lucrative career options in the energy sector,” said Gaegane.
Safee board member and mentor Santa Scheepers noted that students were often not aware of the opportunities in the energy space.