Proudly South African and Tsogo Sun today marked Women’s Month and acknowledged the work women do and the role they play in shaping our world.

Last year, in their first collaboration they celebrated Women in Business, but this year that has been extended to the theme Women in Leadership, remembering the women that have gone before and through whose leadership women have been able to become leaders themselves. Former leaders by example include Albertina Sisulu, whose centenary is being celebrated this year.

Said Happy Ngidi, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer at Proudly South African, “As a nation, we still have a long way to go to redress the injustices and inequality that women such as Mme Albertina suffered and we continue to suffer. In many countries and territories, women have been last to be acknowledged and even given permission to do a number of seemingly everyday tasks – the last to gain the right to vote, the last to be admitted to certain professions, the last to gain parity of pay for the same job as male counterparts, and even last to be allowed to drive. It simply isn’t acceptable in 2018”

It was only earlier THIS YEAR that Saudi Arabia allowed their women to have car licenses and to drive.

Although according to World Economic Forum research, South Africa is 15th out of 144 in the Gender Equality measurement, (which sounds good on paper!) as many as 31% of companies in South Africa have NO women in management roles.

In fact, women hold only 28% of senior management positions in this country, with only 3% achieving CEO level, against 8% as the global average.

Commenting on Tsogo Sun’s focus on gender equality in the workforce, Candy Tothill, General Manager of Corporate Affairs for Tsogo Sun, says, “Tsogo Sun’s recognition of the role of women in business, and in broader society, is evidenced by the group’s gender equality figures – 53% of Tsogo Sun’s 14,000 employees are women and 44% of Tsogo Sun’s executives and senior management are women.

“Our figures reflect that Tsogo Sun has a strong focus on developing female managers within the group. The fact is that, at 39%, our senior leadership figure is substantially higher than the global average

If you consider how many single parent headed households there are in SA – the majority being female headed, it’s no surprise women are unable to rise to the levels of leadership of which they are capable but for which they simply don’t have the capacity.

For too long, in the past, women were expected to keep the home fires burning whilst the men went out and earned money and were active participants in the economy and in the politics of the day. Women bore and raised the children.

But women such as Mme Albertina Sisulu and Mme Winnie Mandela refused to accept that passive role. They got an education, and qualifications and became a nurse and midwife and a social worker respectively, forging the way for the women who came after them. They threw themselves into the political struggle that was the fight against apartheid – they marched in 1956, along with many others.

But it still isn’t easy. Women might now have careers, but that doesn’t replace their role in the home as wives, mothers and daughters. These tasks have to be juggled simultaneously with careers.  The fight for gender equality continues and must be fought in all fronts.

In Iceland, a law came into effect in the beginning of this year making it illegal to pay men more than women.  Companies that employ more than 25 people are obliged to obtain a government certificate demonstrating pay equality, otherwise, they get fined.

By comparison, South African men earn 67% more than their female counterparts on average, according to the report commissioned by the World Economic Forum.

Said Happy Ngidi, “This devastating statistic also means that women are disadvantaged in terms of financial stability, and the ability to save. It’s hardly surprising that some young women fall into the trap of being beholden to a “blesser” who whilst paying for many material things, strip women of their independence. Now, more than ever, women have to support each other and be leaders for the next generation. Women need to support each other’s endeavours, and businesses. “

It is this support of one another that is the ethos of Proudly South African, which, as the country’s buy local advocacy campaign encourages the procurement of South African grown, made, produced and manufactured goods and services BY South Africans.

Particularly through the active encouragement of enrolment into Proudly South African of female owned and managed businesses Proudly SA elevates the careers and financial opportunities that women have in this country.

On this day on which we celebrated many South African women leaders in their fields, including Catherine Constantinides and Ella Bella Leite Constantinides of the Miss Earth South Africa leadership programme and Tsogo Sun’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 winner Nomsa Mazibuko Proudly SA is calling to women to support and encourage their own and to go forth and lead!


For more details on Tsogo Sun visit https://www.tsogosun.com

For more information about Proudly South African please visit www.proudlysa.co.za

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