Maseru- Vodacom says it has reaffirmed its dedication to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal No. 5 that seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. In this respect, Vodacom has moved from placing women in executive positions from 9 percent last year to 17 percent this year, with an overall 43 percent of employed women in the company.
This was revealed by the company’s Head of Human Resources Pulane Ramonene on Thursday last week to mark the International Women’s Day when the company , through the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation, took to inspire and empower newly-graduated women under the theme; “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”
‘BOLD-Girl-Talk’ as the event was called, saw women leaders from all levels of Vodacom leadership engaging in dialogue with female tertiary students and new graduates to promote togetherness among women leaders. The discussions ranged from the panelists’ individual motivations to dealing with high-pressure situations and on what it is like to work as a woman in a world top leading organization.
Ramone said the view that women were not meant to become leaders at workplaces although stereotype, draws back to households where men are heads of the family and women are subordinates. She however, said it’s time for women to stop defining themselves as insignificant and start believing that they are capable of overcoming any challenge presented to them without limitation, regardless of their gender.
This comes at a time when the world is making a lot of noise in women empowerment and gender equality, hence Ramonene thinks it’s high time that women were appreciated and embraced. Despite the challenges, responsibilities and inequalities that come with being a woman, she stated that it was to their advantage that, of late, when companies or organizations hire people they hire women because of their capability.
In the same token, Palesa Mphunyetsane Head of M-pesa Division, which is the biggest mobile-money transfer service in the country, reiterated that culture has indeed played a huge role in under-powering women.
“Culture raises us girls to believe that men are superior, which has limited us from moving from households to workplaces,” she noted. To this Mphunyetsane added that women have been brought up to be modest and unexpressive.
Manager at M-Pesa Mampine Rabotho was of the opinion that it is important to discuss as the ‘now’ generation what is being done to ensure that the next generation of girls grew up empowered. This, she said against the background that oftentimes women keep pulling each other down instead of sticking together.
Business Analyst at Vodacom Rorisang Motlomelo said it was important to note that with empowerment comes the responsibility of being a nurturer and a career women and being able to multitask. She emphasized that by sticking together, women were working towards greatness and being able to acknowledge the achievements of other women.
The ladies encouraged women in the audience to set achievable goals. They also shared that one does not have to be a millionaire or have much to make an impact or uplift and inspire someone.
Vodacom Manager of Enterprises Mpho Mosotho said women can actually learn from men so that they can compete with them at the same level. She encouraged women to use every opportunity they have to network and form connections as someone might just see the potential in them to give them a breakthrough.