Fluor South Africa’s Executive Committee (EXCO) is a true reflection of the company’s commitment to transformation. Definitive steps were taken by the company to diversify its management team and, today, not only is 50% of the EXCO black, but 50% is female. These six formidable women have separately and collectively played a pivotal role in Fluor South Africa’s transformation journey and continue to do so. Here are their experiences, thoughts and hopes for a better South Africa.


Linda Nxumalo, Transformation and Corporate Affairs Manager

I joined Fluor in 2008 with a passion and commitment to transformation. My vision was that this remarkable company would reflect South Africa’s reality in identity. The transformation of Fluor dates back to 2006 with the establishment of Fluor Igoda Projects, a joint venture between Fluor and the black-owned engineering firm, Igoda. In 2012, Fluor South Africa Pty (Ltd) was registered and this company was to reflect South Africa’s diversity.

Soon after that, the Fatlhosang Development Trust (FDT), which is 100% black owned, was founded. In 2008, Fluor South Africa underwent its first official BBBEE rating and achieved a Level 8 rating. We went through the changes in BBBEE Codes of Good Practice with the rest of industry and are proud to have achieved a Level 3 rating under the new score card in 2016. The final step towards transformation was made possible through the sale of a non-core asset to the FDT.

Our unwavering commitment, as well as our focus on the ever-challenging ownership element, resulted in a 54.52% black ownership rating by Fluor South Africa Pty (Ltd). Today, we celebrate a vibrant and dynamic management team as well as our competent and diverse board of directors. This is the Fluor I visualised; this is the Fluor that I love. We are very proud of the journey that brought us here.

Charleen Kruger, Health, Safety and Environment Director

As a woman in a predominately male construction industry, I have faced my fair share of challenges. Earning the respect of my co-workers and clients has been hard work and was achieved over time. Being a young female, I had to work so much harder. I believe I have achieved my goal of transforming the role that women have to play in the construction industry. I hope that the legacy I leave behind for women in HSE and construction is that anything is possible if we embrace transformation and change. I am a proud member of the Fluor South Africa Executive Committee that represents diversity in management in action.

Carol Marais, Finance Director

I joined Fluor in 1996 as a Junior Trainee Accountant while studying for my degree through UNISA. Although it was tough to work and study at the same time, it benefited me in that I gained day-to-day experience in what I was studying. It made understanding the principles, procedures and policies I was studying that much easier. I believe that education transforms lives and by constantly learning and challenging the way we think and do things, our behaviour changes. We become more inquisitive and open to new ideas and ways of doing things. We learn much of what we know from the people we observe, from the conversations we participate in and from on-the-job training. It is critical that we transfer our knowledge to the next generation by sharing with them what we know, by including them in work that challenges them and that ultimately gives them the experience they will need to navigate an ever-changing environment.

Muneeba Carelse, Quality and Continued Performance Improvement Manager

Fluor plays a major role in growing our country. A pivotal part of Fluor’s investment in South Africa is the donation of bursaries to high-potential graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds. High-potential learners at Fluor work with mentors who are credible trainers who provide practical and theoretical guidance throughout the graduate’s career. I am fortunate enough to be part of this high-potential group. I graduated from UCT with a BSc, MSc Materials Engineering in 2005; the first and only child in a family of seven children to have a degree and a fully-paid bursary. In 2008, when I joined Fluor as a young engineer, Fluor offered to pay for my MEng (Welding Engineering). My assigned mentor helped me to develop my career path with constant feedback on my growth. Over the past eight years, Fluor has given me a platform from which to work on different projects throughout South Africa, with continuous training locally and overseas. I joined the EXCO in 2014; a team that accentuates transformational leadership and that is eager to change organisational mindsets in order to meet the needs of the current environment. I am proud to work for Fluor, not only because it is a global multicultural organisation, but also because it allows one to do what Fluor does best—execute projects.

Tracy Naidoo, Financial Manager

Being a woman in leadership in this dynamic multinational organisation provides me with infinite opportunities to lead, create and contribute to the success of the organisation and the diverse people whom I interact with when executing my duties. I endeavour to be real, to inspire, to support and to play the role of a mentor. I wish to be an example that will motivate others to step up their game and believe in themselves in order to reach their true potential. By keeping it real, others can identify with a dream that can become a reality. We need to embrace our worst fears and overcome mediocrity in every aspect of our lives. Women should be hungry for success, gain knowledge and triple the rate of learning to produce exceptional results and make phenomenal contributions to every facet of their lives, thereby impacting the nation on a large scale. We have the ability to become game changers and history makers by striving to teach young women to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and, instead, to focus on breaking glass ceilings.

Refilwe Rakolota, Indirect Procurement, Real Estates and Office Services Manager

The opportunity to work for an organisation that continues to play a vital role in transforming the face of leadership affirms the role of women in business and contributes towards building organisations that are all inclusive. Our strength as women in South Africa today lies in our willingness to venture into unchartered territory and to break the limitations, which have been set before us. The question of whether or not women can, has become a thing of the past, as we have proven beyond measure that we are more than capable.

Women who are in top management positions have had to work twice as hard to pave a path for the millions of women who will be joining them at the round table or who will succeed them.

A better South Africa is one that recognises and embraces different thinking processes, perspectives and capabilities; where men and women alike, make an equal contribution towards shaping and advancing our nation in a trajectory that will see our country become a pioneer on the world stage.

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