Shared success breeds success – empowering women to uplift each other

The influential role of women in our lives can take many forms. Mentoring and the general representation of women in our workplace, for example, has positive effects on the overall performance of companies and teams of all genders. Even more so when women mentor, support and uplift each other.

How can we ensure that women are heard and valued by women for the benefit of organizations and society as a whole?

Feeding at the graduate level

Across a range of sectors, there is gender parity in favor of men, which means that women of all races are underrepresented.

This parity is particularly prevalent in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) sectors, including finance and accounting. “We know that women are incredibly underrepresented in the tech space,” says Vanashree Govender, Media Relations and Communications Manager at Huawei South Africa.

#WomensMonth:

According to a 2021 study by Deloitte, for example, female representation in global tech companies sits at around 33%. This number drops to around 25% when you focus on technical roles. However, perhaps even more concerning is the fact that almost half of women working in tech are dropping out, compared to 20% in other industries. This reflects the need for female graduates to be encouraged from the undergraduate level. Young women who are exposed to hands-on work experiences that promote their growth may be less likely to feel sufficiently supported and able to pursue their career ambitions.

“I believe the status quo needs to be challenged,” adds Govender. “This not only means that companies in the technology sector are changing their culture, but also that they are working hard to foster and nurture female talent. Mentoring is absolutely essential to this. With the support of other women who have built successful careers in the tech space, promising ICT workers are more likely to thrive.

Women spearheading diversity, equity and inclusion

Kuppulakshmi Krishnamoorthy - Zoho for Startups

Kuppulakshmi Krishnamoorthy – Zoho for Startups

The policy of diversity, equity and inclusion in companies can and must be the starting point for the representation of women in companies. As Global Head of Zoho for Startups, Kuppulakshmi Krishnamoorthy comments, “Isn’t it a matter of an organization’s cultural integrity if female employees don’t feel included, feel worthy of opportunity and growth, and feel “heard”. at’?”

“Teams realizing that women need to be heard is a necessary first step. Ensuring fairness in the workplace can start by creating a community of senior women who have already “walked the path” and women who can understand the mindset and challenges of the current generation of labor. -work.

“This community should be based on absolute trust, empathy and solidarity. There should be enough opportunities created for peer groups to form, which can lead to forging lifelong friendships or allies in the workplace,” adds Krishnamoorthy.

Ensuring there are women at the top

In the tourism and hospitality industry, whose bread and butter is customer care, comfort and happiness, we still see men dominating leadership and management roles at all levels.

Reports have shown that globally, women make up nearly 70% of the hospitality and tourism workforce. However, less than 40% of these jobs are at a management level.

#WomensMonth: 5

Hospitality companies can have the will to promote diversity, even if the pace is often slow. But one industry player has made significant inroads. At the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town, over 90% of the management team is made up of women, each of whom is a leader, mentor and friend to the other women on the teams.

Velma Corcoran, Airbnb Regional Manager, Middle East Africa

Velma Corcoran, Airbnb Regional Manager, Middle East Africa

In South Africa, Airbnb continues to invest in empowering women to become tourism entrepreneurs and last year announced a new three-year commitment to remove barriers to entry into the industry. and to help rebuild a more inclusive and resilient domestic tourism economy. Velma Corcoran, Airbnb Regional Manager, Middle East Africa, said, “As the cost of living increases, the economic benefits of accommodation are more important than ever and we are committed to opening economic opportunities for women in South Africa, especially in rural areas and township communities”.

Talking about mentoring young women, Keletso Mpisane, Head of MiWay Blink, says, “Leadership is a skill set that is perfected over time. The key is not to be too lax and not to be too harsh. In many cases, they show their talent for leading from an early age.

Passing the baton at home

CEO of SweepSouth, Aisha Pandor

CEO of SweepSouth, Aisha Pandor

Most domestic workers fill a primary role, such as cleaning, but a report by SweepSouth shows that the more roles a domestic worker takes on, the greater their earning power. Childcare, for example, pays more than cleaning. Families can ask domestic workers what would improve their skills. It could be a driver’s license, so one could sponsor lessons, or it could send him to a babysitting or first aid course. According to SweepSouth CEO Aisha Pandor, “Domestic workers live far more difficult lives than we could ever imagine, and helping your domestic worker begin to learn the skills to improve their life reinforces the message that no of us is alone in this situation”.

Women have been the driving force in uplifting other women and will likely continue to be each other’s greatest champions as inclusion across all sectors grows. Therefore, we should recognize the importance of all women in the workplace and their role in passing the baton. Sometimes a small act of acknowledgment can be all the encouragement another woman needs to get through a tough time, changing her perspective from wanting to give up to feeling encouraged to try again.

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About Raul T. Casey

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