In this latest LEAN IN Equity & Sustainability instalment, we speak with Lesego Queen Kebatsetse, Divisional Geotechnical Engineer and Mentor, Botswana.
Lesego, where did you grow up, and what did you want to do when you were a little girl?
I grew up in a small village in Botswana, Africa. My career aspirations have varied, mostly depending on new experiences and exposures I got. However, I have realised that my career aspirations always challenged the traditional gender-biased careers. Some of my career aspirations as a little girl included being a pilot, a mechanical engineer and a car mechanic.
Can you describe what you do today?
I am a mining geotechnical engineer currently working on a major Underground Project to extend the life of a mine of a presently running open pit.
What is your most challenging experience as a woman in your sector of activity?
I am seen as a woman first before an engineer. This means I am always starting on a back foot with all biases and assumptions about what I can and can’t do as a woman who is an engineer. I always have to go the extra mile to prove that I am equally or better capable than my male counterparts. This is a continuous struggle.
What would it be if you had one piece of advice for young girls today?
My one piece of advice to all girls is ‘it is possible, and you are enough’.
And lastly, what would you wish for our planet today if you had a magic wand?
I would choose to eradicate biases so that we can enjoy our diversity as different individuals. I have seen all kinds of biases, including but not limited to gender, colour, nationality, tribe, height, body weight, experience, and education.