Inaugural Positive Change Awards celebrate women that are making a difference
This past week, Hatch’s South African offices announced the winners of their inaugural Positive Change Awards. This award program celebrates women who create positive change by uplifting those in their communities and tackling the tough challenges facing South Africa’s complex society. Hatch employees were asked to nominate women both from within the company and outside of the company as part of their Women’s Month celebrations.
The winner of the external Positive Change Award was announced at an event hosted by Hatch in Sandton, Johannesburg on September 11, 2019. The event’s keynote speaker was Dr. Adriana Marais, founder of #ProudlyHuman and director at the Foundation for Space Development. Dr. Marais spoke about a planned expedition for December 2020, where she and her team will depart for an over-winter, off-world settlement simulation experiment in Antarctica to demonstrate community living and off-grid capabilities, from life‐support to communication systems, all within the harshest and most isolated environment on Earth!
After the keynote address, the three external finalists of the inaugural Positive Change Awards were recognized and Dr. Phuti Mangena was announced as the winner.
Dr. Mangena is a humanitarian with a passion for seeing young people being afforded an opportunity to change their lives for the better. She founded the Eureka Mentorship Program in 2008. This program aims to mentor and assist talented high school students to reach their full potential and realize their goals and dreams. She has guided and continues to mentor students from high schools in Ivory Park, a poverty-stricken area of Johannesburg. The motto of the program is "One Student = One Family." Dr. Mangena realized that by changing an individual’s life for the better, it's possible to impact their entire family in a positive way. This leads to gradual change in communities and, over time, within society overall.
Dr. Mangena uses her own resources and mobilizes communities through social media to raise funds for learners to further their studies. She also interacts with companies for mentoring and job shadowing opportunities for the students.
“As a young person growing up in a village, it became very apparent that the only way to escape the hopelessness that was facing me was through education. My mother was my greatest motivator and ensured that I never gave up. With Eureka, I decided that I will make a difference in someone else’s life. I realized that a lot of young people with great potential just needed someone who believes in them. They come from difficult circumstances and need someone who will hold their hand as they achieve their dreams. I have seen what education does to these communities and how the cycle of poverty is broken. I have seen how pure consistent motivation improves the results of the schools which we mentor. My belief is that when someone completely supports your goals and pushes you towards achieving them, then good results are an automatic end product. I will continue to strive to change the lives of the young men and women of our communities and I know, we are grooming compassionate leaders, as that is what Eureka is all about,” said Dr. Mangena.
The winner of the internal Positive Change Award is Philadelphia Lala, Legal Counsel, based in the Johannesburg office.
Philadelphia has a passion for working with young people to help them develop and reach their maximum capacity and is particularly passionate about working with youth in the fight against gender-based violence. She had a key role in establishing a campaign entitled the CYM against gender-based violence and rape. This campaign has been running for seven years in the Northern Cape and North West Province. Amongst other things, the campaign is aimed at educating members of the public about resources that are available to them in the public and private sectors in the unfortunate event that they find themselves a victim of this crime.
“We have seen a number of lives being changed through the campaign and being able to assist people in getting the help that they need through counseling and touching and changing lives is what I'm passionate about and what drives me to continue fighting this social ill,” said Philadelphia.
The Positive Change Awards program is Hatch’s newest initiative towards building a fully diverse and inclusive workplace. The program celebrates the positive contributions that women make in their communities and recognizes those who embody the values of our Manifesto. Hatch was recently awarded a Level 1 B-BBEE rating, recognizing the company’s efforts to build a stronger, more inclusive South Africa.
“We believe in empowering, inspiring, and supporting women, both at Hatch and beyond. Women have been historically underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, a trend that we’re hoping to change. This new awards program is just one of the ways that we’re bringing attention to the positive contributions of women, both within our company and within the broader engineering profession,” said Pierre Olivier, regional managing director, Africa, Europe, and Middle East region, Hatch.
For more information on Hatch’s global Diversity & Inclusion program, visit https://www.hatch.com/en/About-Us/Diversity.