PORT ELIZABETH – Safe braking distances, slalom demonstrations, tyre care and defensive driving were among the driving techniques women were taught at the recent advance driving workshop held at Aldo Scribante race track.
Hosted by General Motors South Africa’s (GMSA) Women’s Councilfor female employees and female media members,the course was presented byTschops Sipuka, former South African motorsport racing champion.
Sipuka’s theory session included defensive driving methods, tips on protecting oneself during a hijack situation and the importance of tyre maintenance.
According to Luaneta Logie, GMSA Human Resources Manager and chairperson of the Women’s Council, workshops like these are essential to improve motorists’ driving skills.
She said that women were often perceived as being bad drivers and often lack knowledge about the vehicles they drive. “The defensive driving workshop is an approach to instill finer driving techniques and to apply safe habits and practices when driving.”
During the practical sessions women had the opportunity to put the theory into practice.
Attendee, Theresa Marshall, who is a senior administration assistant at GMSA, described the workshop as inspirational, educational and exciting. “I benefitted enormously from this event. I am more aware about general car safety and I learnt more about the functionality offered by the Opel products.”
The GM Women’s Council is a global initiative aimed at empowering female employees through training, mentoring, career information and advice as well as industry and product knowledge.
Logie said the next programme to be offered is a workshop called technical training for non-technical people in early July. During this session, employees will learn about the technical aspects of motor vehicles. “Our aim is to empower people with knowledge so that they understand the mechanical functions of a vehicle.”
She added that while these programmes are aimed at women, they are not exclusively open to them. “Should our male colleagues wish to join, they are able to enroll for the course,” Logie said.
Over the past eighteen months female employees have participated in a host of activities including off-road driver training, safe driver training, work-life balance seminars, psychological and financial wellbeing programmes and simulated manufacturing courses.