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Taking my seat at the table

Tamara Nerima got into the automotive industry by chance wanting to switch up her career and take up a role in a new industry. An opportunity to work at Scania presented itself and she jumped right on it despite her apprehension of working in such a male dominated industry. She joined the company as the Marketing and Communication Manager early 2017, and within less than a year she was promoted to her current role as Marketing and Communication Director.

Tamara is an inspiration to her fellow female colleagues at Scania by becoming the first woman at Scania East Africa to be appointed as part of the Executive Management. “Being a woman working in the transport industry has been interesting. This industry is very male dominated and I have found that as a woman, you have to work twice as hard to get a seat at the table or to be heard,” she explains.

Throughout her career she taken every challenge and achievement as a learning opportunity in developing her career. “Things that happen in your career, even the negative, are opportunities to learn, grow and share,” she highlights.

Yes, to more women in our industry

Tamara describes the automotive industry as a dynamic one with many opportunities where women can exercise different skills in technical and administration areas. “There is enough room for everyone here,” she stresses.

She encourages young girls interested in a career in the automotive and transport industries not to be daunted because now there is novelty around having women working in these industries. “Most people will hire a woman waiting for her to fail but we are just as capable as men are in this field. Women should take this novelty and use it as platform to grow their careers in these industries and prove people wrong,” she emphasizes.

Tamara would like to see more men empowering young girls to be confident enough to get into non-conventional careers like mechanics, engineering and construction and having these opportunities availed to them at the workplace.

Away from Scania, she is a ‘top chef’ who enjoys creating culinary experiences for her family friends and working on her DIY (do-it-yourself) projects.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

A celebration of women’s suffrage, recognition of women’s achievements and the continued campaign for equal opportunities.

What would you like to encourage other women as we celebrate International Women’s Day?

To be confident and not shy away from speaking their mind.

What are you most proud of doing?

Being able to juggle motherhood and a corporate career. A lot of times, women settle for lesser careers in favour of raising a family but I am fortunate to be able to do both.