Known by her friends as Liz, Elisabeth Nortje is the peer review manager, environment assessment practitioner and project manager at multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm GIBB for the Nuclear-1 EIA. (That is the first new nuclear power station planned for SA.)

1.    What does your job entail (in short)?
I am responsible for ensuring enviro-legal compliance of deliverables within the Environmental Services Division as well as the management of the Nuclear-1 EIA.

2.    What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?  
Always the people. We have an amazing team of passionate individuals and it is very rewarding to see them succeed especially if one has had a hand in mentoring those individuals.

3.    What is your unique contribution?
We work as a team at GIBB and play to each other’s strengths. My strength is my ability to understand and apply environmental legislation and to break down complex information and present it to an audience, whether it is interested and affected parties or decision makers, in such a way as to make it clear, succinct and understandable.

4.    a. What is the best professional advice you ever received?
You cannot have a successful professional career without paying attention to other aspects of your life such as your friends, family and interests. It is important to life your live spherically.
b. And personal?
You are never too old to experience or learn something new.

5.    What personality trait do you think is crucial for making a success in the business world?  
Courage to remain steadfast in your beliefs and convictions, and the humility to treat every person you meet with the same level of respect regardless of their position or perceived status.

6.    In your opinion, is a woman’s role in business different to that of a man? If so, how?
As women, I think it is often easier for us to see the larger picture and the interconnectedness of all things whether it is the technical aspects of a project or the way in which people should be managed.

I don’t however believe that a women’s role should be any different to that of her male colleagues – she can be as relevant and successful in any position she chooses within the business environment. The difference may however lie in the way she chooses to approach the position.

7.    How do you wind down after a busy day?  
Music, a glass of red wine, friends and family!

GIL Africa 2017