Palesa Msibi

Be decisive, confident and work hard.

Country of origin

South Africa

Which company do you work for?

ATNS

What is your specific area of specialisation?

Air Traffic Control

How long have you been in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields?

10 years

As a woman in a male dominated industry, what has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

Stereotype about women’s ability to lead and be decisive. I constantly have to push through the negativity and maintain my firm stance, I never ever cower and I always strive to maintain excellence.

What inspired you to join this industry?

I knew I wanted to do something different, and I’ve always been driven by challenges. I fell in love with Air Traffic Control over 10 years ago and right there I knew that, that’s where I wanted to be planted and thrive.

What changes, if any, have you seen in your field with regards to women in your field?

Women’s voices have become a little bit louder, and our efforts are slowly getting recognized. We’re not quite there yet, but we are surely on the way.

How can we attract more women to consider a career in the STEM fields?

When women recognize themselves in the faces of other women then their confidence rises. Show other women (young and old) that they too can do it – and go even further.

If you were to advise other young women starting their careers in the tech or within the STEM fields, what is the one thing you would say to them?

Be decisive, confident and work hard.

When not working, what do you do for fun?

I read novels for the escape, I love the outdoors and cooking.

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