LEADERSHIP IN all its forms, organizational, political, military and even sports continues to demand attention.
Interestingly, in an era of transformation, women have taken pursuit in senior leadership roles, challenging the status quo and in turn giving more opportunities to women who have been faced with the obstacle of gender inequality.
Leading to the W-Suite Summit on Wednesday, 31 July 2019, who’s foundation is to accelerate, engage, inspire and incorporate a vision to influence and co-create a new culture in leadership that drives meaningful participation and influence – It is only befitting to highlight remarkable trailblazing women in South Africa who have moved the country forward.
“As women, we have leadership qualities and abilities to professionally produce proficient results. W-Suite strongly believes that the conversation about women leadership ought to be more intentional, robust, collaborative and transformational” states Katie Mohamed, Founder of W-Suite.
Women in support of the W-Suite movement such as Catherine Constantinides – Social Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Global Activist, Kass Naidoo – Globally recognized driver for women in sport agenda and Leah Manenzhe – Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gauteng Enterprise Propeller, have all upheld their positive influence in leadership positions.
As powerful women, they have played a significant role in influencing their own spaces – paving the way for other women to assume leadership roles. Remarkably, these female leaders have created their own stories by standing for what they believe in and making a huge breakthrough in different industries.
Relentless in pursuing justice for the forgotten masses in various communities, Catherine Constantinides is an inspiration and positive motivator for change, embedding ‘hope’ as a golden thread of action. Her commitment for social change has taken her to the smallest communities in South Africa as well as global platforms including the UN, where she currently works as a Human Rights Defender actively engaging in Geneva at the UN Human Rights Council for the worlds most marginalized and vulnerable.
Constantinides, in all corners of the world has actively spoken about the role of leadership with focus on women and children- The culmination to her cause was in 2017 when she was invited as a panelist at an inaugural Obama Summit hosted by former president Barack Obama in Chicago.
Defying the odds by becoming South Africa’s first woman cricket commentator is Kass Naidoo, with the achievement being recognized in the BBC World Service documentary on BBC radio.
Synonymous with cricket, Naidoo has paved the way for women in sport, launching to raise their profile in August of 2006 with her company called Gsport4girls, which to date, has been the country’s longest running women’s sports recognition platform. Alongside that, her focus of growing and further shaping the company’s mandate, there is also the Gsport Awards focused on leading women in sport and the Gsport Trust.
The trend towards a more balanced gender representation in government is having a more noticeable effect, and with her domineering spirit, Leah Manenzhe, through passion and dedication, has risen to the occasion a number of times, confidently building a sustainable pipeline in motivating women to constantly re-define their path to leadership.
As a Business Administration (MBA) Master’s degree holder, Leah has also spearheaded other senior roles including Chief Director IGR, and Strategic Partnerships for the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and Chief Director for Intergovernmental, Relations, Special Projects, Strategic Partnerships and International Relations for the Gauteng Department of Economic Development.
Recognised for her leadership, Manenzhe’s ability to develop and nurture talent, successfully inspires and motivates those around her to perform to their optimum and Manenzhe was quoted:
“Each of these women leaders embody accountability at the highest level. Why is this significant? Accountability inspires trust, inclusion, persistence and commitment, all of which the W-Suite movement carries in their action towards overcoming persistent bias that keep women out of real leadership positions.- Empowering women to take a seat at the table.
And in the words of, educationalist and missionary, Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegyir-Aggrey, the African proverb says: “If you educate a man, you will educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you will educate an entire village.”
The W-Suite website is a go-to-source for objective and timely information on the W-Suite Summit, for more info go to www.wsuite.co.za
Image (Kass Naidoo, Katie Mohamed, Sithembile Ntombela).