The executive board of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) has released a statement distancing itself from the contents of an article written by its CEO Manglin Pillay.

According to SAICE the article, which was published in the July edition of Civil Engineering magazine, contained an innuendo that girl-children are less in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“The SAICE executive board is horrified at the innuendo that girl-children are less in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Maternal profiling in the article belongs in the past and not in the 21st century. The rhetoric used is not worthy of what women have accomplished over the past century or more,” the institute said.

The instituted also noted that the photo, which accompanied the article on Facebook, had a derogatory feel to it putting women where they ‘belong’ and limiting the roles of people. “The tone of the paragraph starting, “To the women in civil engineering — you know I am your friend,” is patronising towards women.

“SAICE as an institution regards their female members who are in positions of authority, as well as those who have just started working in the industry, very highly. The SAICE executive board undertakes to continue upholding the principles of gender equality, inclusivity, racial diversity and transparency,” the institute added.

SAICE went on to apologise profusely for the CEOs personal views being given a platform in the magazine and said that the board is considering a platform through which personal opinions which diagonally oppose what SAICE embodies, can be aired to ensure that they will never again be aired in any official SAICE communication.