Women in Business
In Africa while women make up 58% of self-employment and contribute about 13% of the continent’s GDP, there is a gender funding gap in sub-Saharan Africa of US$42 billion (±R781 billion), highlighting the gender imbalance in support for women entrepreneurs.
As South Africa celebrates Women's Month, it is more important than ever to recognise the pivotal role that women play in achieving the nation's net zero targets.
Women entrepreneurs play a key role in alleviating “period poverty” in South Africa for the estimated 3.7 million girls unable to afford feminine hygiene products, with menstruation-related issues the leading cause of school absenteeism.
The empowerment of women has a far-reaching impact on their own lives, their families and communities, and society as a whole. Women who are empowered to make choices in all areas of their lives, have greater control over their health, their careers and their quality of life.
As we explain in our soft skills training course, “Business Skills for South African Women”, women bring something different to organisations. They’ve got multipurpose life and work experiences and through this offer more versatility than their male counterparts.
Despite concerted efforts to narrow the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, major inequalities persist. According to UNESCO, women account for a mere 28% of those pursuing STEM careers in Sub-Saharan Africa, below the global average of 30%.
There are many quotes about the strength, power and potential of women, but perhaps one of the best comes from one of our own African leaders. Former President of Malawi Joyce Banda said, “The seeds of success in every nation on Earth are best planted in women and children”. There is a growing body of proof to back up this claim, and illustrate why there needs to be greater representation of women at all levels in business, government and civil society.
The workplace has transformed drastically over the last few decades and South Africa has become one of the leading countries in terms of equality for all, but many outdated corporate cultures and structures continue to pose barriers for the modern working women.