Finweek English Edition - - Letters - DR JOY COLE

I READ Michael Coul­son’s col­umn head­lined “Frailty, thy name is wo­man” (5 April) with great in­ter­est – not just be­cause of the views ex­pressed with re­gard to Danisa Baloyi and her as­so­ci­a­tion with Fi­den­tia but also his sen­ti­ments con­cern­ing em­pow­er­ment.

Coul­son’s state­ment that there aren’t enough cred­i­ble em­pow­er­ment part­ners around is a gen­er­al­i­sa­tion and sim­ply not true. What SA is cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in em­pow- er­ment is a rep­e­ti­tion of what’s largely driven busi­ness in the past – a broth­er­hood, com­pris­ing an old boys’ net­work and now, to a lesser ex­tent, the ad­di­tion of a se­lect few women.

If you’re not part of that all-pow­er­ful net­work, your chances to suc­ceed as a new kid on the block seem to be lim­ited – re­gard­less of gen­uine, well-de­served qual­i­fi­ca­tions, a proven track record of achieve­ment and an abil­ity to add value to an or­gan­i­sa­tion.

For em­pow­er­ment to suc­ceed and ul­ti­mately achieve its main ob­jec­tives – namely, the trans­for­ma­tion of the econ­omy and ul­ti­mately fi­nan­cial free­dom for the broader pop­u­la­tion – com­pa­nies should em­brace the wor­thy younger em­pow­er­ment group­ings, es­pe­cially women, who do add value. Not just be­cause of whom they know but rather for what they know.

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