KEEP UP TO DATE WITH ALL THE IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATIONCOVID-19 RESOURCE PORTAL
FANews
FANews
RELATED CATEGORIES

Celebrating gender mainstreaming is now more important than ever

04 August 2020 Accenture South Africa
Ntombi Mhangwani, Africa Director for Integrated Marketing and Communications, and Women’s Forum Lead

Ntombi Mhangwani, Africa Director for Integrated Marketing and Communications, and Women’s Forum Lead

The compounded economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are felt especially by women and girls who are generally earning less, saving less, holding insecure jobs, or living close to poverty. Now more than ever, businesses should be aggressive in their adoption of gender mainstreaming as a core business principle. About eight years ago, Business Engage initiated the Gender Mainstreaming Awards (GMAs) to celebrate gender mainstreaming and encourage the private sector to buy-in to achieving more meaningful representation of women in the mainstream of business.

“Celebrating gender mainstreaming is a priority, now more than ever. As the current pandemic deepens the prevailing economic and social stress, women are facing many stages of anxiety having to juggle numerous responsibilities of the home, and of the workplace where they often face unfair treatment,” says Ntombi Mhangwani, Africa Director for Integrated Marketing and Communications, and Women’s Forum Lead. According to Mhangwani, if everyone in businesses recognise the value that gender mainstreaming brings, they would not only help solve underlying societal issues but also accelerate and drive their innovation agenda.

“Accolades such as the GMAs encourage the private sector to move beyond tabling the issue at boardroom level, to implementing it into their core business practices. This is why we have committed ourselves as a partner in the annual GMAs which are set to take place in September this year,” states Mhangwani.

The GMAs seeks to encourage the private sector to buy-in to achieving a more meaningful representation of women in the mainstream of business. “Gender mainstreaming has been on the agenda worldwide for several years, yet we understand that many companies are just starting on their journey. The awards, therefore, act as a springboard to further their achievements,” says Colleen Larsen, CEO at Business Engage.

“So far we have received nominations from both the private sector and government under various categories. We are currently in the final adjudication and shortlisting stages, leading to the virtual awards ceremony on 3 September 2020. The entire process has been done online,” states Larsen.

According to Larsen, progress has been made in recent years to implement policies that favour diversity and gender equality in the workplace, but many of the gains are now at risk of being rolled back due to the widespread COVID-19 pandemic and resultant grim economic outlook. “It is for this reason that we are advocating more aggressively for gender mainstreaming in the workplace. We are doing so by – among others – celebrating companies that embrace the representation of women in the workplace to encourage wider adoption of gender equality policies in the private sector,” she says.

Accenture states that their support of the initiative is aligned to their core business goals. “Several years ago, we set two clear goals: to achieve a gender-balanced workforce by 2025 and to increase the diversity of our leadership by growing the percentage of women managing directors to at least 25 percent by the end of 2020. Today, our workforce is 44 percent women and the percentage of women managing directors is 24 percent,” states Mhangwani. “Treating our gender goals – like any other business priority – we hold leaders accountable, collect data, measure progress and publish workforce demographics across key geographies,” she adds.

For companies looking to embark on their adoption of gender mainstreaming policy, Business Engage developed a comprehensive, widely researched document that provides best practices for Gender Mainstreaming in the South African private sector. “We encourage the private sector to consider these best practices and to implement the chosen best practices in their Gender Mainstreaming endeavours,” Mhangwani concludes.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

The intention with lockdown was to delay or flatten the Covid-19 infection curve and give both the private and public healthcare sectors time to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. Did the strategy work?

ANSWER

No, the true numbers are not reflected. Almost a quarter of South Africans may already have been infected with Covid-19
It’s too soon to tell. We will likely get a second wave with stringent lockdown regulations in place again
Yes, South Africa bought enough time to make a significant difference. We saved lives and have passed our peak. The worst is over
fanews magazine
FAnews August 2020 Get the latest issue of FAnews

This month's headlines

Ethical behaviour - are you toeing the line?
Latest business interruption developments raise more questions than answers
Brokers remember: You are accountable...
A sustainable pension - How to manage living annuities in uncertain times
Claim stats… life can change in a heartbeat
Are South Africa’s income protection benefit providers ready for COVID-19?
Subscribe now