Umvoti Property Investment — silvicultural and harvesting contractor
Forestry career: 13 years
My day begins at 5am, when I load tools, fuel and other supplies before driving to the plantation compartment where work has been scheduled. Infield, I give my team instructions on what needs to be done. I employ a number of people in my silviculture and harvesting operations, so my day is largely spent ensuring that every operation is working as effectively and efficiently as possible. At around 3pm, when the field workers have completed their tasks, I inspect each site and plan for the following day.
WHY I LOVE WORKING IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR
My father owned a plantation and worked very hard to ensure that his family was cared for. After he died, my mother took over and made sure that it continued to provide an income for the family. Every day after school, I would work in the plantation. I gained my love, skills and knowledge of the industry through hard work. My husband, who sadly passed away in 2005, started the business, and I took over the following year.
MY ADVICE TO THOSE EXPLORING A CAREER IN FORESTRY
The forestry industry may seem intimidating to women, but all it takes is determination, courage and patience. It is important to be open-minded when one works with people from different backgrounds. There is a big capital outlay when you start but if you have the patience, your hard work will pay off. While forestry is not for the faint-hearted, there is nothing we as women cannot do, no matter how difficult it may seem.