The MANCOSA Centre for Women in Leadership (CWIL) has reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for women to be given an opportunity to explore meaningful work and professional opportunities.
Jabulile Diko, Associate Director at MANCOSA, said the Centre will continue to strive to create an enabling environment for the promotion of women leadership roles.
Since its inception in August 2015, the Centre has embarked on a number of research, advocacy, training, networking and mentorship activities, and is also involved in several charitable causes and skills development programmes.
“Women still have the challenge to attain the promotions that will place them in leadership roles,” said Diko.
“The challenges that women face in the workplace are the same as those for men. These challenges include work/life balance, parenting, juggling many responsibilities and multitasking.
“Challenges specific to women continue to be wage disparities, the glass ceiling, sexual harassment, safety when working in high-risk areas and fewer opportunities for promotion.
“There are fewer role models and mentors for women leaders. Too few boardroom seats are held by women,” she said.
However, with the current attention that government, employers, the legal community and the media are paying to the concept of equality and gender fairness, Diko said there hasn’t been a better time than now to promote the positive need for more women in leadership roles.
“There are infinite possibilities for a fairer and more equitable workplace that takes advantage of the strengths that both genders bring to management and leadership,” she said.
The CWIL has entered into a partnership with the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation to provide skills workshops for young leaders. The Foundation was founded in celebration of the life of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a student at the University of Cape Town who was killed in August 2019 at the age of 19. She was a victim of gender-based violence.
A partnership has also been established with Womandla Foundation which empowers women and collaborates with other organisations to promote social innovation, public education, community enrichment and transformation.
The CWIL is sponsoring online short learning programmes for Womandla’s STEAM Awards which shines a light on the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The awards event will take on a hybrid approach and will take place at the MANCOSA Learning Centre in Cape Town and online on 28 August 2021.
Through Penny Appeal South Africa, a relief and development organisation which focuses on transforming communities, the CWIL will provide skills workshops to women in shelters.
On Saturday 14 August at 10.30 am, the CWIL will host a GBV webinar to empower women with the knowledge that will help them if they are victims of GBV.
The speakers will include gender activist Thaakirah Mohamed, self-published author of Mercy; Shahnaaz Paruk, CEO of Penny Appeal SA; Masimbulele Buso, counselling psychologist and managing director of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation; and Fisani Mahlangu, social work manager and Executive Member of the National Shelter Movement SA. There will be a pre-recorded message by actor Sivuyile “Siv” Ngesi challenging the men of South Africa to stand up against GBV.
Principal and Social Purposes Initiatives Director of MANCOSA, Professor Magnate Ntombela, said the work of CWIL is highly commendable.
“If we fail to tap into the potential of slightly more than half of our population (i.e. females), then our country’s development is hugely compromised.
“Our Olympics swimming sensation, Tatjana Schoenmaker, confidently said, before the finals, ‘if I have a lane, I have a chance’.
“In life, and in the workplace, women need equal access to a lane, together with equal and unprejudiced support, to enable them to soar according to their competences and talents,” he said.