Sourcing positively positions Tania’s team at Namdeb

03 April 2017

The Windhoek Observer’s (WO) continuing recognition of women of substance this month includes professional women working at Namdeb. We spotlight Tania Conry (TA), Assistant Buyer/Expeditor on capital projects in the Engineering Projects Department at Namdeb.

Her story is enlightening, not just for women thinking of pursuing a career at Namdeb, but for anyone beginning a professional career and considering ways to make their work lives fulfilling and beneficial.

WO: Tell us about YOU…briefly.  How many kids do you have; are you married; where were you born, do you have a large family? What are your favourite hobbies; how do you spend your non-working hours?

TA: I was born in Lüderitz and my family relocated to Oranjemund in 1989 and we have been living here ever since, so I consider Oranjemund as my hometown. I consider myself to be very fortunate as my entire family resides in Oranjemund, enabling me daily interaction with them.  I am single and spend my free time doing gardening, and I also like to do a bit of interior decorating.

WO: How long have you worked at Namdeb?

TA: I have worked for Namdeb for approximately 14 years, 11 years as a permanent employee.

WO: Why did you choose to work at Namdeb? 

TA: I started working for Namdeb by fate. I was involved in a serious motor car accident and my injuries were of such a nature that I had to resign and return back to my home in Oranjemund.  To pay the bills as a result of the medical aid shortfall, I started working as a temp Assistant Buyer/Expeditor on Capital Projects at the Engineering Projects Department.  I found the work interesting and challenging, and after 4 years I decided to pursue this on a permanent basis.

WO: What is your educational, training or life experience background that helps you in your work at Namdeb?

TA: I was previously employed in the retail industry and therefore understand the importance of customer service and managing your business according to the best business practice principles.

WO: What have you learned about yourself and about the industry while working at Namdeb?

TA: I have learned that a positive mindset and attitude is a great asset as you need to motivate yourself and your Team during difficult times. The mining sector can be volatile and therefore it is of vital importance to be as efficient as possible and to deliver on your promises.

WO: Can you relate a story that sticks in your mind about your experiences at Namdeb?

TA: The only one that comes to mind is what my Mother taught me:  Never say that you cannot or are not able to do something, keep your head up high and fight till you get it right.

WO: What are TWO of the highlights in working at Namdeb?

TA: Receiving my 10 year service certificate, as I never planned to stay so long.  Despite the challenging time that Namdeb went through during 2010, we managed to pull through as a company and to create a vision up to 2050. 

That is what team work is about and I believe that if we could do it then, we can also as a team do it now.

WO: What are TWO of the challenges in working at Namdeb?

TA: In the Supply Chain environment, the fact that Oranjemund is quite isolated from the rest of Namibia is challenging from a procurement and logistics point of view , considering the fact that the Purchasing Section for which I am responsible for,  does sourcing for quite a broad spectrum:  from sourcing books for the Oranjemund Private School to Mining Equipment.

WO: In general, what are the top TWO challenges for ANY working woman in today’s world, especially the mining sector?

TA: As a woman in a pre-dominantly male industry, you have to bring a little bit more to the table and you need to stay relevant.

It is always a good idea to benchmark yourself in your specific industry.

WO: If another woman were considering coming to work at Namdeb in the same area where you work, what advice would you give her?

TA: Grab the opportunity if you get it!  Be prepared to work hard and be adaptable to change. Working at Namdeb will be one of the best experiences of your life.

WO: Our article wants to focus on YOU; your story and that of Namdeb and women working on their team.  We want to let our readers understand YOU better – to that end, answer this:  If you could wave a magic wand and have the career/position/job that you most would like – whether it is at Namdeb or not- what would it be and why?

TA: I believe that it is through adversity that we grow and look for opportunities that we would have otherwise overlooked. 

If I had a magic wand, I would use it to take away the fear and anger that most people tend to have towards change, so that we can realize our full potential.

WO: In answering these questions, is there any other thought or idea that has occurred to you that you would like to share?  Is there anything that you’d like to briefly add?

TA: As women, we are all created to be beautiful and unique. We should use each day to influence and empower those around us.  

Get involved in your community, it is the role of women to nurture and uplift those around you.


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The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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