As Namibia celebrates International Women’s Day 2020 on Sunday March 8th, we celebrate Joan Tietens’s 30 year journey at NamPower; her contribution to the organisation and her personal growth.
WO: Kindly give us brief introduction of yourself, your position and your area of responsibility at NamPower?
JT: My name is Joan Tietens, married and I have three children. I have been working at NamPower for the last 30 years. I started off as a relief switchboard operator/typist way back in the days of SWAWEK. Through the years, I moved up to the position of Senior Project Officer, responsible for the administration, logistics and records management within the Generation Capital Projects section.
WO: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
JT: To me, this is a day to celebrate women, no matter their culture or background. In this celebration, we are given hope and fair justice in this crazy world we live in. But, if we as women sit with our arms folded and celebrate the day without being active to help other women in the world, or even our own community by uplifting and helping them to be the best they can be, it is just another ordinary day.
WO: What is your view about opportunities for women in your sector?
JT: In my company and sector, women have quite a few equal opportunities within the engineering and technical field, with other opportunities in HR, Finance and administration as well, e.g. we have female engineers, electricians, and a pilot, to name a few. We also have a few women in management positions. Saying this, I want to mention that NamPower gives all of us equal training opportunities and I was privileged enough to receive all the necessary training I needed to the job I’m doing today.
WO: Would you say women are getting equal opportunity when it comes to certain roles in organisations?
JT: As I work in a very technical environment, we as (female) administration staff can sometimes get the feeling that we are not valued, but luckily we can set the record straight and sort out the differences whenever it comes up. But overall, I have no regrets in the career choice, as I love working with all kinds of people, whether it is my colleagues or the public and this position allows me to do both.
WO: Personally, what have been the challenges as women in your current role and how have you managed to overcome them?
JT: Through the years it was sometimes tough to balance my work and my role as a mother, but I have a very strong support system in my husband, the grandparents, nowadays my grown children and even our domestic staff. Whenever I have to go on the road, there is always someone to take care of the household and its daily chores. Never have they tried to stand in my way, as they realize that my job at NamPower has allowed them to live a privileged life so far.
WO: What factors can you say have also contributed to your growth in the organisation?
JT: The fact that my company has given me the opportunity to further my studies and also put me up to some challenges in the past allowed me to grow and work through the ranks up to where I am today. Even in tough personal times, the company was always supportive and assisted in whatever way was possible. Today I can say I am a strong women and proud mother/grandmother who can give advice and support to the younger generation when starting their corporate career.
WO: If another woman was considering a career in your field and sector, what advice would you give her?
JT: So, to all women considering a career in the corporate world I want to say: “fight for what you believe in, ask for assistance when needed, get as much training in your field as possible and never ever forget the fact that you are a magnificent human being and a proud woman, by God’s grace.” And last, but not least, seize every moment of your life!