Dr Portia Sefolo from the Faculty of Management Sciences.
The event aimed to advance the contributions and voices of young female researchers within the University and inspire aspiring postgraduate students.
The impressive line-up of speakers included representatives from five of TUT’s Faculties, namely:
- Dr Grany Senyolo, Lecturer at the Department of Crop Sciences;
- Dr Dee Khosa, Lecturer at the Department of Safety and Security;
- Dr Munyadziwa Ramakokovhu, a Lecturer at the Department of Chemical, Metallurgical, and Material Engineering;
- Dr Amanda-Lee Manicum, a Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry; and
- Prof Georgina Coetzee from the Faculty of Economics and Finance.
Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka, DVC for Research, Innovation and Engagement, delivered the welcome address, highlighting the importance of showcasing the “crème de le crème” of young female researchers at TUT.
“We are here to profile our young, distinguished females who are emerging as exceptional researchers ready to harness excellence, to change and achieve gender equality as well as empower fellow women in higher education spaces.”
Dr Grany Senyolo, a Lecturer at the Department of Crop Sciences.
She added that the event is aligned with the University’s spirit of excellence “from good to great” as well as the theme of the 67th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) held in March this year – Innovation, technological change and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
“The UNCSW is the principal global intergovernmental body dedicated exclusively to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women,” said Dr Papu-Zamxaka.
Also invited to speak on opportunities at the National Research Foundation (NRF), was Prof Georgina Coetzee from the Faculty of Economics and Finance, who has published over 50 papers and supervised several Master’s and Doctoral students, encouraged attendees to publish high-quality outputs on high impact journals to elevate their researcher status in order to be rated.
“There are a lot of areas to be explored in research, new paths to tread and new approaches to be generated. You should be open to everything that comes your way and ensure that you produce impactful research that contributes positively to societal challenges,” she said.
All speakers shared similar sentiments on the importance of diversity and inclusivity in research, focusing on the unique, fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that young women bring to the table.