Women breaking gender stereotypes at FoodForward SA

FoodForward SA is proud to be part of a growing movement that places women at the forefront of what was previously domains reserved only for men.

Marelise Ponto, our Cape Town Warehouse Supervisor, started her working career in direct sales, and went on to work for a retailer, in supply chain. When she joined FoodForward SA in 2016 she worked as a receiving / despatch clerk. This job entails carefully checking stock, monitoring the integrity of the cold chain, checking expiry dates, the condition of the stock, and so on. In June this year, when a position became available, Marelise was promoted to warehouse supervisor. In this role she has much more responsibilities, including the supervision of staff, managing all the inbound and outbound stock processes, and mentoring our supply chain youth interns. Another important part of her role is ensuring that the food provided to our beneficiary organisations match their needs. As Marelize explains, “We will always make sure that we carefully pick the right kinds of groceries for the various types of organisation.”

Marelize loves her job. “Working in a warehouse is not a gender thing. If you’re passionate about what you do, you will go all out to make a success of it.” People find it surprising to see her and her colleague, Zainab, driving the forklift. Marelise is working towards obtaining her Code 10 driver’s license, which will enable her to drive the FoodForward SA trucks, when needed. “In this job I see first-hand that we are part of the solution to so many hunger issues in South Africa. It is so rewarding to go home, knowing that I make a difference in other people’s lives.”

 

FoodForward SA’s Cape Town warehouse ladies team: From L to R: Marelise (Warehouse Supervisor), Michaela and Sanelisiwe (supply chain youth interns), Zainab (R&D Clerk).