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Building a solid career in the steel business

A career in the steel and manufacturing industry does not always stand out amongst the options that young people might be considering, however it can be extremely rewarding if you hold the development of South Africa’s industrial growth and economic development close to your heart

Carol Lloyd, Macsteel General Manager Regions has dedicated close to three decades in the steel business.

“Steel products make a substantial contribution to the building and construction industry which touches the lives of all South Africans, as these are integrated in their office structures, homes and surrounding environments,” says Lloyd.

Originally from the East Rand of Johannesburg, Carol is a self-motivated woman, who focused on developing her skills in the steel business through self-study and building on-the-job experience. “Although I was unable to attend university, I have made a life-long commitment to self-development and have pursued various forms of study through programmes such as Strategic Women in Leadership, Business Management and Integrated Marketing Management which have contributed to my role as General Manager Regions at Macsteel.

“What motivated me on a personal level was to make a difference in the role I was in.  While success is a key driver of my overall goal, I also wanted to make the company proud to have me as part of the team.  I was prepared to work hard and learn as much as I could from anyone willing to share.   I set myself many goals, including one to achieve the recognition of my ability – not, the “physical corner office,” she says.

“As women, we have an extraordinary gift, a sixth sense, that allows us to interpret and provide insights from many angles in how to approach business opportunities, as well as nurture development and growth of team members.”  Here Carol shares some guidelines for women who want to pursue a profession in an industry generally primed for men.

  • Firstly, it is important to make sure that the company shares the same values as you do. I found that at Macsteel, they inspired me to continue to deliver my best
  • Be guided by your principles and believe in yourself. Don’t label yourself to fit in and be liked, we are all unique and bring our own perspectives to the table which collectively helps solve issues designed for business growth
  • Control your own destiny – approach opportunities as an equal. Making excuses or limiting your capabilities by thinking that you are not worthy will create stumbling blocks that you want to avoid.
  • Make the effort and you will own the outcome – celebrate your successes and achievements no matter how small without waiting for affirmation from others as these may not come immediately
  • Be accountable for the choices you have made and be patient to see the changes, these will come
  • Pay it forward – offer support and guidance that will make a positive impact on colleagues by sharing your knowledge and experiences

“Looking ahead, I am now in a transition phase of my senior journey which is exciting and challenging and I look forward to being able to continue to make a difference by empowering my team and adding value to our customers and stakeholders,” concludes Lloyd.

Carol adds that she has found her soul mate in her husband and is blessed that her son and daughter are pursuing their studies as post graduates in the Science faculty at the University of Johannesburg.  She also counts her three fur babies as part of her family.  In her free time, she loves to spend time in nature – in the bush or at the beach – which she finds restorative and provides her with the energy she needs to continue delivering her best work.


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