Embracing Opportunities in the Automotive Industry
In a male-dominated industry, Tenette du Plessis, the HR Manager at SA Truck Bodies and part of the Route Management Group, is a shining example of a woman excelling in the automotive world. With her two-decade journey in the industry, she has not only overcome challenges but also embraced opportunities for growth and transformation. Let’s dive into the captivating story of Tenette’s personal and professional journey, offering inspiration and insight to women aspiring to make their mark in the automotive sector.
A Journey of Passion and Dedication:
Born and raised in Bloemfontein, Tenette’s passion for the automotive industry led her to study at UOVS and subsequently join SA Truck Bodies in 2005. Her commitment to her craft has been unwavering, as she navigated the challenges and opportunities presented to her with determination and grace.
Strength from Faith:
Tenette draws strength from her faith, and the phrase, “I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God,” has been her guiding light. Whether facing personal or professional challenges, she finds positivity and strength in these words, propelling her forward in the face of adversity.
A Father’s Influence:
When asked about her role model, Tenette’s eyes light up as she speaks of her father. She attributes much of her success to the lessons she learned from him. A man of loyalty and hard work, her father’s compassionate nature and selflessness have had a profound impact on shaping her leadership style.
Venturing Beyond HR:
Though initially focused on the human resources side of the business, Tenette’s involvement with SAVABA introduced her to a whole new world within the automotive industry. This exposure to technical concepts and fresh ideas transformed her perspective, driving her professional growth and development.
Fostering Gender Equality:
As a female leader in the industry, Tenette is passionate about promoting gender equality at all levels of representation. She highlights the strategic objectives of both the RMI and SAVABA, emphasising the importance of leading by example to inspire and encourage other women to pursue leadership roles in the automotive industry.
A Proud Accomplishment:
One of Tenette’s proudest moments was joining the RMI Labour Executive Committee as the SAVABA representative. This achievement not only symbolised her personal growth but also marked a significant milestone for women in the industry.
Encouragement for Aspiring Women:
To young women considering a career in the automotive repair sector, Tenette offers words of encouragement. She emphasises the abundance of job opportunities in the industry, urging them to approach companies for shadowing or internship experiences. Her advice? Work hard and stay determined to achieve your dreams.
Navigating Male-Dominated Spaces:
Like many women in male-dominated workplaces, Tenette faced stereotypes and biases. However, she found that knowledge was the key to breaking barriers and building confidence. With her impeccable attention to detail, she harnessed her strengths to overcome obstacles and shine in her role.
Tenette du Plessis’ journey in the automotive industry is a tale of passion, dedication, and perseverance. From her humble beginnings in Bloemfontein to becoming a respected female leader in the sector, she has conquered challenges and embraced opportunities with unwavering determination. Tenette’s story serves as a beacon of inspiration to women aspiring to make their mark in the automotive industry, proving that with grit and a determined spirit, they can thrive in any professional landscape.