Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) has employed its first lady technician, setting in motion the creation of a gender diverse workshop, which is often proven to get better results.
Globally, women have been proven to be “unicorns” in technical workshops, and they are said to generally create healthier workplaces. Based on this understanding, GLTC has welcomed Disebo Catherine Mashamaite as the first lady technician in the history of the company.
Workshop Manager Riaan Nel says Mashamaite joins a team of 22 other employees based in the workshop, where she is currently deployed in the pre-delivery inspection area, and will later join the field service team, doing repairs and fault finding.
Technicians at GLTC are tasked with servicing and repairing several of the company’s products, including Doosan, Crown and Bendi forklifts. “We have a variety of products in our stable that we supply and maintain. These come with varied powertrains, including electrical, gas, diesel and petrol-powered units,” says Nel. “Her electrical experience and professionalism are key pillars in our company, and we are optimistic that she will add a lot of value to the organisation.”
Born and bred in Bela Bela, in the Waterberg District of Limpopo Province, Mashamaite had a good technical grounding as early as her high school days at Hlakanang Technical High School. She later enrolled for an N1 certificate in Electrical Engineering (Heavy Current) at Pretoria West College, where she eventually completed her N5 Certificate. “My career path was largely driven by the passion for fixing electrical appliances, which I developed at a very tender age,” says Mashamaite.
However, the road to a technical career wasn’t that rosy. “It was difficult for me to break into the industry. I applied for many apprentice positions with no success until 2012, when I was appointed a diesel electrical fitter apprentice at the Transnet School of Engineering. Prior to this, I kept myself busy volunteering at different workshops. My capabilities span from fixing cars to household electrical wiring,” explains Mashamaite.
She eventually qualified as a diesel electrical fitter in February 2016. After the expiry of her apprenticeship at Transnet, she was appointed a workshop operator at Putco Bus on a three-month contract. After that, she got another three-month job offer at Direct-Tech in Randburg. “My career journey was not so easy, but my passion for the field and the support from the family kept me going. The call I received to join Goscor as a technician from 23 April this year has made me believe that patience is a virtue, and with the right attitude, nothing is impossible,” she says.
“We now have a Merseta-accredited world class training centre where we will further develop the skills we need, and surely Catherine will not be the last lady technician in our organisation,” concludes Nel.