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WOMEN AT THE WHEEL

NISSAN SOUTH AFRICA |

“At Nissan, we know that when women win, we all win – as the automotive industry and as a nation. Therefore, we have steadfastly committed to empowering women within our company and wider industry over the years.” – Wonga Mesatywa, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at Nissan South Africa

As has been the national tradition every August, South Africans have celebrated Women’s Month as a tribute to the sacrifices women have made to promote gender equality and empowerment. This year, Nissan South Africa (NSA) decided that as a proponent of diversity, equity, inclusion, and women empowerment in the workplace, it had to join in the celebrations by hosting a female-empowered immersive driving experience to celebrate women who are a crucial part of making local production of the award-winning Nissan Navara possible.

Nissan Africa RBU Brand and Customer Experience GM, Tessa Cooke
CELEBRATING WOMEN WITHIN NISSAN

For years, Nissan has been committed to being more gender inclusive. This has seen the company enabling women to take on more strategic and senior roles within the company, as demonstrated by the increase in female management globally from 6.7% in 2008 to 13.9% in 2020. This is incredibly encouraging in an industry that males have traditionally dominated. In addition, NSA has set employment equity targets by 2025 while prioritising the recruitment and empowerment of women at all levels, including women of colour. This initiative also targets an increase in female representation at mid-senior management levels to 25% and an increase in women in top management to 25%.

Nissan also says that women are not only getting this recognition within the company’s organisational structures, but have also been the inspiration behind the blending of style and functionality in its recent models, such as the Navara. That is why the new Navara is just as happy on rough terrain as on city streets, being used for the school run and dashes to the office. This is not surprising to us, considering that women took centre-stage in executing and managing crucial projects at Nissan, including upgrading the Rosslyn Manufacturing Plant in Pretoria and producing the Navara locally. 

NavaraWomen Training
EQUIPPING ATTENDEES WITH ESSENTIAL SKILLS

During August, Nissan South Africa held a fun event where they took the time to engage with female stakeholders. Since most drivers already have basic driver training, NSA decided to empower the event attendees with off-road, defensive driving, and anti-hijacking training sessions at ADA Outdoor Training Centre in Hartbeespoort. Using the locally produced Navara, Nissan saw this as an opportunity to empower women with the skills necessary to be self-sufficient and keep themselves and their families safe should any of these eventualities arise.

Nissan also used the event to launch the Nissan Adventure Club, which was designed to empower Nissan customers with the necessary knowledge to exploit the vehicle’s features and capabilities, mainly off-road. Regardless of the grade of the car, future customers will be treated to either defensive or 4×4 off-road driving to ensure that they fully utilise their vehicle’s capabilities.

Navara Women Drive
LAST WORD

It is encouraging to see a large corporation take social issues seriously and play its part in promoting females in a predominantly male-dominated space. The world is fast changing, and the sooner corporations heed these important social calls, the sooner we achieve equality across all industries. We are also thrilled by the new after-sales support that Nissan is offering through the Nissan Adventure Club, as it will inspire buyers’ confidence to utilise their Nissan products to their maximum potential. Special thanks to Vuyokazi Quphe and her team for facilitating the event and for roping Driven magazine into what is a noteworthy endeavour.

Report by BRYAN KAYAVHU | Images © NISSAN SOUTH AFRICA

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