Savannah Maziya - Bunengi Group
Chairman and CEO
Savannah is the Chairman and CEO of The Bunengi Group, a company that operates in Infrastructure, Mining and Agriculture and is fully owned and operated by women.
Savannah has served on various boards including the largest regulator boards in construction, water, finance, food and drug administration in Africa. She chairs the Bunengi Board and is director and shareholder of the largest construction company in Africa. Savannah holds a degree in Finance and Broadcast Science from Bridgewater University in Massachusetts in the USA and an MBA from DeMontford University in the UK.
Why do you believe STEM Education and Workforce are important?
I believe that STEM education and workforce are important to the world because this is the area where a lot of innovation will come from and as a world that is struggling with declining economies as well as employment shrinkage, we need innovation to be the catalyst for the creation of new job profiles.
What traits do senior leaders need to effectively support and advance STEM today?
- Open and forward thinking mind
- Creative approach to strategy
- Ability to communicate effectively
What principles do you, as a leader; apply to your professional and personal life to advance the STEM cause?
Training and access to opportunities. Anyone can be trained to operate in the STEM environment as long as they have the right attitude and have access to opportunities.
What can we do to assure more women leaders in STEM?
We need to showcase STEM careers to young girls who are still in grammar and high school, so they understand that these careers exist and that women are more than able to take on them. We also have to coach and mentor women in junior professions to provide them with the capacity to work themselves up the career ladder. In South Africa there is an aggressive drive that there should be 50% women representation in all companies and career fields (at all levels). There is also a country focus on STEM – this makes all our personal and company initiatives more sustainable.
What is your concept of mentoring and sponsorship of others for STEM careers?
As we are heavily involved in operating in STEM and we are a women owned and run group – we have focused our energies on providing scholarships to college for women who are pursuing a career in STEM, we focus on recruiting mostly women in our business and we have a strong mentorship program where all senior women executives have to mentor junior ones as part of our mandatory Give Back Program.