Women un­fil­tered

CityPress - - News - GAYLE ED­MUNDS ged­munds@city­press.co.za

The Busi­ness­women’s As­so­ci­a­tion of SA (Bwasa) hosted an in­ti­mate lunch for 2016’s win­ners of its an­nual awards. The lunch was light, but the mes­sage had heft: ask­ing, how we all, women and men, can men­tor and de­velop more women into lead­er­ship roles across our econ­omy? Four of the five win­ners were present for a panel dis­cus­sion about their jour­neys and how they plan to ad­vance the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women in busi­ness. Funeka Mon­t­jane, chief ex­ec­u­tive of per­sonal and busi­ness bank­ing at Stan­dard Bank; Dr Ro­lene Wag­ner, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Frere Hospi­tal; Mary Rale­tooane, direc­tor at Itekeng Dis­abled Cen­tre; and Pro­fes­sor Leslie Petrik, a lec­turer at the univer­sity of the Western Cape; were on the panel with the pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion, Farzanah Mall. Mon­t­jane told the assem­bled room of busi­ness­peo­ple (mostly women) that women needed “to do their work yesterday”, and that more con­scious ac­tion was needed to re­alise an eq­ui­table so­ci­ety. Bwasa has a num­ber of ini­tia­tives that it in­vests in to ad­vance women in lead­er­ship, in­clud­ing the re­cent in­tro­duc­tion of a stu­dent chap­ter at Wits. The young women lead­ing this pro­gramme, Itume­leng Mak­gato and Boikhutso Mokoto, both fi­nal-year BCom stu­dents, are pas­sion­ate about get­ting more women into rooms where de­ci­sions are made, and giv­ing them the skills and con­fi­dence to take those de­ci­sions. The event also marked the open­ing of this year’s awards nom­i­na­tions across cat­e­gories – cor­po­rate, govern­ment, so­cial en­trepreneur­ship, science and ed­u­ca­tion – un­der the theme: Women with No Fil­ter City Press part­ners with Bwasa for their an­nual pub­li­ca­tion, which cel­e­brates the win­ners of the Busi­ness­women of the Year Awards. They take place in Septem­ber this year. Nom­i­na­tions are now open

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