Home » A young engineer set on changing mindsets and shattering stereotypes

A young engineer set on changing mindsets and shattering stereotypes

by Justin

UNICEF’s 2020 Reimagining girls’ education through STEM report shows that 18% of female students in tertiary education pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. This under representation of women in these professions translates into a loss of critical talent and innovative thinkers.

Fortunately, more women are challenging stereotypes by pursuing STEM careers perceived to be masculine, which encourages young girls to change their attitudes about STEM subjects and consider careers in these fields.

Among those paving the way for females in these careers is Precious Mahlangu, a 31-year old Engineering Support Technologist.

Breaking the mould

Growing up in Pretoria, Mahlangu had no idea that her passion for maths and science would lead to a successful 11-year career in engineering.

She has always shown interest in STEM subjects and set herself the goal of qualifying as an engineer, which she did by achieving a Diploma in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from the Tshwane University of Technology.

In 2016, Mahlangu joined Saab Grintek Defence’s Research and Development division as an Engineering Support Technologist and has loved her work ever since. She enjoys working on innovative projects where her individuality and ideas are welcomed and explored.

“Working at Saab makes me feel great about our collective efforts to develop world-leading defence products and services. It makes me feel like I have a purpose, which is one of the reasons why I chose this industry,” she says.

The winning formula

Mahlangu believes that having critical thinking skills and being inquisitive about the world and how things operate have led to her success, which she hopes will help other aspiring female engineers succeed.

“Engineers need to analyse, evaluate, and synthesise information to make objective judgements and recommendations. We rely on critical thinking skills at every stage of our work, particularly decision-making.”

Mahlangu wants young girls to know that engineering isn’t the intimidating and masculine profession that many people perceive it to be. There are many opportunities for women in engineering.

She encourages students looking into entering engineering to focus on keeping their grades up and start identifying internships early in their tertiary years. This will introduce them to unlimited engineering disciplines and help them determine what their capabilities are.

Precious Mahlangu, Engineering Support Technologist

Related Articles

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!