How one woman at Shumani leads the way in transport and logistics.


With 13 years’ experience in transport and logistics, Melissa Grobler from Shumani Industrial Equipment believes that women “must fight hard and work even harder to be seen.” This is as South Africa celebrates and acknowledges the important role of women in industry, the economy, and in local communities and families on Women’s Day on 9 August.

“My message to women on this special day is that they must enter the corporate world and work hard to achieve their goals, as it will not just fall into your lap,” says Melissa. A Contract Analyst at Shumani, her role is to ensure all contracts are in place and that each deal is profitable.

“I keep an eye on our assets to ensure they do not cost the business and our customers unnecessary money,” explains Melissa. Currently hard at work pursuing her BCom in Financial Management, she also looks after the administrative billing department. “I started studying at a later stage in my life, which I am proud of. Now my experience and knowledge make studying so much easier,” Melissa points out.

“It has been a great learning journey for me,” she says about her time at Shumani, the largest black-owned and managed industrial supplier of its kind in South Africa. It offers clients the largest range of industrial equipment from trusted brands and products. Its services include providing 24/7, with the proven reliability of 98% uptime and 135% procurement recognition for B-BBEE equipment expenditure.

“I think we can always strive to be better and have a more diverse work environment. Sometimes it is the person with the least education who can surpass employees with far better qualifications as they have the motivation to become a better version of themselves and have something to prove to those who might not have believed in them,” says Melissa. “I have always strived to gain as much knowledge as possible in the field and industry I am working in.”

Melissa contends that women are still “undermined and underestimated in the corporate world. We usually get misunderstood and overseen. Although we can do the job, some positions are just harder to come by when you are a woman.” Her solution is that women “need to be given fair chances when applying for positions. There is such a stigma around certain jobs where only men are deemed capable of doing them. In fact, most woman can do it even better if given the chance.”

Her advice to young women contemplating a similar career is: “Never give up. It might take you longer to get to the top and achieve your goals, but you will get there if you keep on fighting. Do not lose hope, even as you face challenges. Do not let those challenges define who you are or what you want to become.”

Melissa’s message on the occasion of Women’s Day is that “women need to stand together and fight alongside each other to make the world a better place. We need to remember the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women at home and in the workplace,” she concludes.