SA businesses need to empower women
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) -SOUTH African businesses need to empower more women a leading national executive said this week in commemoration of International Women’s Day which was observed on Tuesday.
Christelle Colman, CEO of MUA Insurance Acceptances, said they were more benefits for companies to have more women in leadership positions and this was also supported by research.
According to the findings of a survey released by MSCI, a US based independent provider of insights and tools for institutional investors, in December last year when a company has more women on its board of directors, it can generate a 36% higher return on equity.
Another report produced locally, the 2015 South African Women in Leadership Census released by the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa which indicates that only 8.79% of JSE-listed companies have 25% or more female in director positions.
“Women are still extremely underrepresented in leadership positions, particularly in the financial services industry,” said Colman.
She said there are a number of reasons why relatively few women occupy top level positions in South Africa’s boardrooms.
Colman said: “While it may seem controversial to say so, many women choose not to occupy higher positions in the business world due to gender stereotypes which demands that women fulfil all the duties of being the homemaker or that in certain industries they are simply not as capable as a man to fulfill the role. As with any kind of discrimination, gender stereotyping hinders all of us from reaching our goals.”
She believes that in order to overcome gender stereotypes in the workplace, it is absolutely critical to acknowledge they do exist.
“A good place to start is by teaching our children not to treat people differently based on their gender. By changing the way we see things, we can change the career paths of our future generations. There is constant pressure to manage our talent pools; when we extend our view beyond what is traditionally acceptable for certain genders we increase the talent pool immediately,” Colman said.
She added that: “The challenge of gender stereotypes is not to be solved by female business leaders only, but by the business and larger society in its entirety. It is about being well-informed on the topic of gender stereotyping, embracing the differences of individuals and most importantly playing to the strengths of the individual regardless of his or her gender.”
The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
The United Nations observance of the day reflected on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.
The global body said it will equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=11879