Women in the driving seat at Etosha Fishing

Nearly half of the management team at a local fishing company is female, while the majority of its workforce are women.

07 July 2019 | Fishing

Nezette Beukes; Etosha Acting MD; It was never a conscious decision to exclusively employ women in leading positions at the company.

Etosha Fishing stands out as a shining beacon of gender inclusivity and women empowerment in the male dominated world of the fishing industry.

Established in the 1940s, the company is a leading player in the Namibian fishing industry and considered to be one of the foremost round-can production facilities in southern Africa.

“It was never a conscious decision to exclusively employ women in leading positions at the company. The fact that most of the key managerial positions at Etosha Fishing are occupied by women is a clear illustration that females are just as capable as their male counterparts,” says Etosha Fishing acting managing director and former financial director, Nezette Beukes.

Over the years Etosha Fishing has entrenched its position as an award-winning manufacturer that delivers products of exceptional quality. Its products not only comply with national and international food safety and quality regulations, but the company has also been recognised for its high standards of food production through the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) Quality Awards.

Two of Etosha Fishing's quality managers, both females, have also received personal recognition for their contribution to quality assurance, with Estelle van Dyk and Linekela Kapundja winning the NSI Individual Award for Quality in 2014 and 2017 respectively.

“To be recognised for our consistent delivery of quality products in this very competitive business environment is not a matter of how many males and females you employ. We rely on all of our staff members and work together as a team in order to be successful. It should however serve as a motivation to women hoping to enter this sector that they can also excel in a traditionally male dominated world,” Beukes emphasised.

Another clear example of an empowered woman is Etosha Fishing's department head of labelling and dispatch, Drizelle Westerdale.

She joined the company 15 years ago as the personal assistant to the managing director and worked her way up to her current position as head of the labelling factory.

“It is all about dedication and passion for the work you do. If you consistently perform well in your job, you will be recognised for your efforts.”

Critical quality aspects of the manufacturing process are managed throughout the system in order for the organisation to achieve sustained success.

Quality manager Linekela Kapundja says employee engagement is an integral part of company's quality management focus.

“Our employees are engaged through training so that they understand the importance of producing quality products in a safe work environment.”

Kapundja has more than ten years' experience in quality management and food safety.

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