In this latest LEAN IN Equity & Sustainability instalment, we speak with Letlhogonolo Tsoai, Principal Specialist – Regulatory Landscape, South Africa.
Letlhogonolo, where did you grow up, and what did you want to do when you were a little girl?
I grew up in Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa. My idea of what I wanted to be changed so many times during my life. I had originally dreamed of being a lawyer or a paediatrician.
Can you describe what you do today?
I am an Environmental Engineer who has specialised in the energy sector, particularly in policy and regulation. I have a history of working in construction and coal operations which prepared me for this phase of my career which is more strategy focused. I love development, and so being able to share ideas that create an environment for energy development to occur excites me a lot.
What is your most challenging experience as a woman in your sector of activity?
Being the first, youngest and only woman in various situations. Having people much older than me as subordinates has been a challenge, and it is something I have experienced from the very start of my career.
What would it be if you had one piece of advice for young girls today?
Your ideas are valid, and they need to be heard. Your personal development responds to your investment in yourself, so always work smart and fall in love with reading.
And lastly, what would you wish for our planet today if you had a magic wand?
I would love for our planet to finally overcome poverty in all forms and for all people to experience a life where they are better suited to reach self-actualisation. This definitely draws in on the concept of sustainability. To achieve this, we would need an economy that is focused on building society at all levels whilst preventing environmental degradation.