Until only a few decades ago, women were subject to the then society norm of being associated with jobs supposedly best suited to their gender, thus reserving most technical career paths in the working world to men. Fortunately, times have changed, allowing stereotypes that separate men from women to largely fall away. South Africa’s engineering industry was male dominated until the 1940s, and has since evolved to enable more women to develop and exercise their technical abilities and expertise.

The South African Institute for Non-Destructive Testing (SAINT) is proud to host its first ever ‘Women in NDT’ conference in South Africa, taking place on 14 October 2016 at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria.

Acknowledging Expertise

“SAINT initiated this unique platform as a long awaited opportunity to acknowledge women NDT practitioners for their expertise and for the crucial role they play in the South African NDT industry,” says SAINT President Keith Cain. “The aim is to inspire, inform and recognise women in NDT – it certainly is a first in South Africa, and possibly in the world.”

Women Facing Challenges

“NDT has long been a predominantly male occupation, but this is changing rapidly; SAINT’s women members need to be recognised as worthy practitioners, hence this important day of inspiration and sharing of experiences by SAINT members,” says event Programme Director MC Elaine McDonald. “We want to encourage women to reach for higher goals in NDT. Many of them face unique challenges in the industry such as discrimination.”

A study carried out by University of Cape Town (UCT) student Kathryn Wooldridge shows that women in the South African engineering industry working at the same levels as men tend to receive lower salaries than their male counterparts. Another challenge faced by women in the engineering industry is finding a balance between the responsibilities of family and work. Kathryn Wooldridge is one of several exciting speakers who will address delegates at the conference.

The Exciting Speaker Line-up includes

    • MC Welcome Address
      Elaine McDonald – General Manager: School of Applied Non-Destructive Examination (SANDE)


    • Keynote Address: Radiographic Testing and Pregnancy
      Emma Snyman – Radiation Control: Department of Health


    • New Generation Woman
      Sunithi Barends – Level II Inspector: Murray and Roberts


    • Breaking Ground as a Woman in NDT

      Amanda van der Westhuizen – Sales Leader, Sub-Saharan Africa: General Electric – Oil & Gas


    • The way in which women in the NDT industry in South Africa experience gender roles, attitudes and discrimination

      Kathryn Wooldridge – Student at UCT


    • The Feminine Contribution to NDT

      Hannes Barnard – General Manager: African NDT Centre (ANDTC)


    • The Birth of this Event and the Importance of Mentorship

      Zanele Mgiba – NDT Process Planner: Rotek Engineering Company Limited


    • Honouring Women in NDT

      Thea Wagner – Senior Sales Representative: Gammatec


A Tribute to the women of SAINT

“I expect this day to motivate and inspire women in NDT, not only on an inspection level but also on an administration level,” says Thea Wagner, Senior Sales Representative at Gammatec, and a member of the Women in NDT Day Organising Committee. Wagner will provide more information on Ultrasonic and Radiographic Testing and the impact these testing methods could have on pregnancy. “Women – We know our limitations and then defy them!” quips Wagner.

“SAINT is extremely proud to be hosting not just a day of inspiration, but an opportunity to honour these women that work hard to make a difference,” concludes Cain.

For more information visit: www.saint.org.za,SAINT Facebook