Devan Moonsamy 

The month of March is not just a month to acknowledge human rights but also to commemorate international woman’s day. International woman’s day was recognised worldwide on the 8th of March. 

As the world celebrate woman and the achievements of great woman, we should look at our offices to see how we can ensure woman are landing leadership positions. Over time woman have had to fight for their seat at the table. Many started at a business in minor admin roles and whilst many have been up skilled and progressed, there have been so many who haven’t grown at all. 

The reality is that woman have to work twice as hard to show their capabilities in order to land leadership positions. The new hybrid working model as well as working from home can be the perfect example to show how woman have to maintain a home and keep their tasks at the office in check. 

As we celebrate and commemorate woman, let us also look at what we can do woman landing roles in leadership at our offices. 

  • Start by interviewing qualified woman for all leadership roles available. This will ensure a diverse interviewing process that will allow for possible intervention on hiring a female candidate that is best suited and motivated for the job. 
  • Invest in upskilling of female employees. By offering opportunities to upskill and gain knowledge on the existing experience can help encourage female employees to better their skills on the work they do. It is time to move away from females seen as receptionist and admin efficient roles.  Challenge and open the door to opportunity that can shape their career in the business. 
  • Don’t treat woman as if they are all the same. Woman might not all have the same interest. Each female employee might have different expectations and desires for their career growth. Diversity and inclusion are not about applauding like thinking but rather embracing uniqueness and differences in the workplace. 
  • Create an environment that allows for woman to fly. Many times, it is the foundation of the organisation that needs to be checked. If your board of directors and higher management still consists of mostly males it is time to re-evaluate the structure of your business. The shake up and leadership opportunities for woman in the work place should start at the top. More companies need to be open to the idea of a female CEO or CFO. Having more management in higher management can play a significant role in how female staff feel about the way in which the business operates. 
  • While on the topic of management making leadership opportunities available for woman in the office, we should also shine the spotlight on managers and supervisors of the departments. Managers in different departments are at the front in terms of employee engagement. They are the best individuals to determine growth and development leaps for staff working under them. It is for this reason that more employee engagement should occur and relationship building between staff and management be established. 
  • Businesses can also look into diversity workshops and training to help improvise the gender make up in the office. This is essential to navigate through the gaps and to work on the balance of inclusions and diversity. Workshops and training will help staff voice concerns as well as give management tools to work around challenges experienced by the staff. Diversity workshops and training might also be the solution to give insight to management on how to adopt a more open approach to change. This can also be the solution to deal with getting rid of gender bias in the office. 

Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute, a South African TVET College. He is the author of Racism, Classism, Sexism, And The Other ISMs That Divide Us, AND My Leadership Legacy Journal available from the ICHAF Training Institute. 

The ICHAF Training Institute offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.

Tel: 011 262 2461 | 083 303 9159 |

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