Female power in nuclear medicine


Leadership meets three women from global radiochemical producer, NTP, and speaks to them about the role of women in science.

For some girls, the problem with maths is that they’re really good at it. Yet, in the realm of Business in Science, women remain under-represented.

Managing Director of NTP Logistics, Ntokozo Magorosi, says the industry is still very much male-dominated, especially in senior positions.

“Black women in senior positions are still a very rare species. But the new proposed BBEEE codes will hopefully bring huge changes for meaningful participation of women, especially around black female ownership,” she says.

People, Magorosi adds, are the main tool in the industry and she believes women have a natural talent when dealing and working with others. “We are able to calibrate people, while empathy, employee wellbeing and development of people are always key and innate to us,” says Magorosi.
NTP is a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) and provides an important lifeline to patients requiring radiopharmacy.

Magorosi holds a postgraduate qualification in Human Resources from Wits Business School, and has been in the freight industry since 2003, having worked as HR Manager, Director and MD at Sebenza Forwarding and Shipping.

“I joined NTP Logistics in October as MD of the company,” she explains. “I previously worked for SAA, the Road Accident Fund and the Department of Social Development.

“I was privileged to have been asked to serve as Deputy Chairperson of the South African Freight Association in 2010 and the following year was named the most influential woman in the freight industry.”

As MD of NTP Logistics, Magorosi is in charge of growing shareholder value, ensuring corporate governance and that internal controls operate in line with best practices, ensuring balanced stakeholder management aimed at improving employee relations.

“NTP Logistics has a unique product which we have been able to package not only for consumers, but also to other freight forwarding companies,” she says.

Hazardous goods

NTP Logistics manages the domestic and international logistics of transporting hazardous goods (HG), specialising in radioactive materials and chemicals. Strict national and international regulatory requirements govern the transportation of HG, most commonly by sea freight.

“NTPL has vast experience in the national and international regulatory requirements that govern the transportation of hazardous goods, providing compliant packaging through to forwarding, clearing, tracking and security. The regulations are quite onerous”, explains Magorosi. Permits are renewable on an annual basis.

“For international regulations, NTPL’s membership with World Nuclear Transport Institute as well as being a member of the International Network of Freight Forwarders, which has a Hazardous Goods specialty body, comes in helpful in terms of keeping abreast with international regulations”, says Magarosi.

The transportation of radioactive materials is very well regulated, she says, not only by South Africa, but by other countries in the world as well.

She explains that South African companies will only get approval from South African regulators, these being the Department of Health or the NNR, to transport and import/export radioactive material to other IAEA member states.

“Since most IAEA member states have signed the Code of Conduct with regard to the import and export of radioactive material, the international control of transport is very strict and well applied. In over half a century, there has never been a single incident resulting in significant radiological damage to mankind or the environment”, says Magarosi.

Global leader in nuclear medicine

Dr Namane Magau, NTP Radioisotopes Chairperson, says it is a privilege to lead a company which is recognised as a global leader in nuclear medicine, producing a quarter of the world’s medical radioisotopes.

“The dynamic drive by the management of NTP to grow the business locally and globally is encouraged by the Board, which is available to support the creation of an enabling policy environment in the country and globally. We hope that extending the pool of talent in the country will add value to the goals of the NTP, and enhance the competitiveness of the country and its role in this dynamic market space”, says Magau.

“I find my role as chairman of NTP exciting and inspiring as it enables me to build on my extensive experiences as an Executive Director and Board Director in several companies. Coming from an education background I appreciate the importance of strong leadership, learning and innovation in a company and feel privileged to work with a great team of Board members and a dynamic, remarkable team of managers at NTP”.

Does Dr Magau see a bright future for young women thinking about a career in science? “We are encouraged by the ongoing increase of women graduating in the science, engineering and medical professions” she says. “We view this as an important seed for extending the role of women in the innovation of new products and services and strengthening leadership in the sector”.

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