She is an amazing woman. She has succeeded regardless of what was put in her way. She is the boss right now. Her own boss; a boss in a skirt. Let’s take a look at Grace’s life journey and how she built her name in the construction industry.
“When I decided to join the construction industry, it was not an easy decision to make. Construction is known to be a working space for men only. Reception, PA and spokesperson is more of a women’s job, as most expect. So it wasn’t and it still is not easy to be in this male-dominated field.”
She faced many challenges that can give one a heart attack with disbelief. As to why she chose construction out of all working fields, she said, “When I was a little girl, I didn’t like those glitz and glam that most young girls loved. I have always been fascinated by mega machinery and structures when the construction is underway. I find it just so amazing, the dust and loud machine sounds.”
Her inspiration comes from her father. Grace and her mother used to go to his workplace at around lunchtime to bring him his lunch box.
“I’d see big tractors that we called ganda-ganda, they’d scare me, and my mom would lift me up and envelope me in her arms,” she said, laughing as she reminisced. “The ironic thing about all that is that I’d insist on going with my mom again the next day. So I ended up overcoming that fear and started to enjoy them. My love for construction broadened from there and the rest is history.”
Being in a male dominated industry didn’t make her throw in the towel. Instead she stomached in, chested out and went all out like a girl. She didn’t allow any man to pave her way.
“Men would underestimate me. They made me feel small and invaluable. They sometimes would not take my input seriously. They didn’t make me feel strong by encouraging me. When we were supposed to do ground or pitch inspection, they would instruct me to stay indoors because apparently ‘it is not safe for women’. So man, it was rough in the beginning. It felt like I was thrown in the deep water and I had two options: either I don’t swim and I drown which, will prove some people right that women aren’t capable of doing the work like men. Or, I swim and I stay afloat and prove them wrong.”
She faced people who used their power and positions to abuse women to get a deal or job.
“I always tell people that my family was and still is a strong foundation for my career development. They helped me lay charges against people who abused their positions to exploit women for their own gain,” she said in a sincere voice.
Now Grace is recognised by all with her self-dedicated and outstanding work. “My company doesn’t only give women jobs but it empowers them by doing more with their life.”
She is passionate about seeing young girls in agriculture, construction, science and even enforcement industries, by teaching and enhancing them with information, tips and bursaries. She has an NPO that her company sponsors and supports. It’s an NPO that goes to primary and secondary schools teaching young girls about self-worth and much more. It is called ‘Boss in a Skirt’.
“I believe in teaching them whilst they are still young. The best investment you can ever do is investing education in the young generation because they are the future of the country. Teaching them they can grow up having a clear direction in their life. And they’ll know that you can be successful in life without having men’s sponsorship. It’s time for female leadership.”
Thank you, Grace Mbaile, for doing such amazing work.
Tell us: Do you believe that girls can work in any field?