While the barriers to workplace equality are steadily being worn away, it is still an uphill challenge for many women trying to succeed across the career spectrum.
This year’s Women’s Lifestyle Expo (#WLE2018) – brought to you be FMI – is proud to feature a number of high-profile women who have managed to achieve in their respective fields, despite working in traditionally male-dominated industries.
“While great strides have been made in creating equal opportunities for South African women in the workplace, there is still so much that needs to be achieved,”
said Helen Johns, co-founder of the Women’s Lifestyle Expo.
“The only way to increase the pace is for women to support women, particularly those seeking leadership roles. This is at the heart of the Women’s Lifestyle Expo, and we are so proud to welcome these inspired career leaders to the event.”
These economic and social trailblazers – many of whom will be sharing their stories at #WLE2018 at Joburg’s Montecasino Piazza from 29 to 30 September – have imparted some of their wisdom to inspire other women seeking career success. Here are 16 Tips to Succeed in Male-Dominated Industries – from women who have proved it can be done.
Jean Chawapiwa, founder and MD of Win Win Solutions 4 Africa; and Country Director for WEConnect International in South Africa, is breaking boundaries in the mining sector. Her top 4 tips for career success, are:
1. Understand the politics of the company. You should always have a strategy to break through and get champions and influencers on your side.
2. Be well informed in your sector and share information. It’s beneficial to be seen to be a person who shares information.
3. Remember that respect is earned, so earn it and give it to those who deserve it.
4. Don’t see being a woman as a weakness, because if you do, then others will too.
Nonku Ntshona, CEO of Nonku Ntshona & Associates Quantity Surveyors LTD, and an award-winning entrepreneur, knows how to build up a successful organisation with international reach. She believes these are 4 tips are central to success:
5. Coming from a very male-dominated industry (the built environment/construction), I know that it’s a given that women in this industry experience isolation. My advice to women facing this kind of challenge is to start working with each other. Women historically don’t work well together, and that MUST change.
6. Build inclusive relationships. Don’t eliminate our male counterparts from the equation – we can learn so much from them. Remember they have been in these fields much longer than us and have a wealth of knowledge so, instead of working against each other, rather work together.
7. Network, network and more network! Join affiliations such as ‘Women Presidents’ Organisation; Women’s Property Network and WE Connect International. These organisations are a source of networking, as well as support structures for women entrepreneurs. It is important to build strategic relationships.
8. Don’t make business issues become personal issues, in other words, don’t take things personally. Make decisions based on them being good business acumen.
Nolitha Nkosi-Tshabalala, the owner of Nolitha TS (Pty) Ltd and SB Nkosi Scholar Transport CC, continues to succeed in the transport industry by constantly turning her passion for driving into success. Whether it’s in the trucking industry, or elsewhere, she outlines these 4 tips as essential:
9. We need to empower young women with skills such as teaching them how to drive. In addition to the freedom they are afforded, they are opened up to many profitable careers such as driving a truck. This idea needs to be planted well before they get serious about choosing a job.
10. We need to work towards the improvement of facilities to accommodate women in all fields. When it comes to woman truck drivers, for example, there needs to be changes made to truck stops to improve safety and make this a profession women want to pursue.
11. Promoting woman to woman is vital. Women need to see more women in male-dominated industries such as trucking. It is vital that, as woman, we continue to support each other and form groups within our industry to offer support and encouragement.
12. The bottom line is there are many male-dominated industries and, for you to succeed, you have to be twice as good as the worst man out there. It's can be hard labour. You might be expected to lift, climb and roll things! But, with passion and dedication, women are winning in this game!
Wenzile Madonsela has served as the transformation officer at the Black Lawyers Association and is the Company Secretary and Chief Ambassador at the Thuli Madonsela Foundation, an organisation established to defend democracy through concerted dialogues, advocacy, research and training. Under her and her husband’s company, Unafundo PTY LTD, Wenzile started ‘Princess Chronicles’, a woman’s leadership training programme which empowers young women to live consciously and with purpose, while training them in the digital revolution. Here are her tips for success:
13. Always know what’s happening with your finances, from bank statements to cash flow and savings. You are the master of your money.
14. Balance is essential. You can’t do everything. Choose your strength and don’t be scared to ask for support. We women don’t need to prove we’re superhuman – the world already knows it!
15. Find ways to compliment other women instead of competing. Women need to work together.
16. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child. There are lessons to be learned from those who’ve already walked the path.
Learn more inspirational tips and worthwhile advice from South African’s top influencers, gamechangers, role models and industry leaders, set to feature at The Women’s Lifestyle Expo – brought to you by FMI. The event promises an extensive programme where pampering and luxury can be enjoyed while tackling more serious issues. Some things you can expect, are:
- Informative talks on health, financial and lifestyle by industry experts
- On-trend fashion styles, accessories and cosmetics
- Pamper sessions and beauty treatments
- Sumptuous food prepared by OPEN Food Group, the official food sponsor
- Networking opportunities with South Africa’s leading influencers
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