Actioning a DE&I society for South African women
with contributions by Kgomotsego Chiri, Account Manager, InteractRDT & Nthabiseng Mabusa, Fieldwork Services Manager, InteractRDT
This year’s South African Women’s Month is themed “Women’s Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women’s Improved Resilience”.
But what does this mean?
Do we, society, government, and partners continue talking about responding to challenges facing South African women and girls? Or do we take tangible action?
This year marks the 66th anniversary of women talking about it… So maybe it’s time to let the tired voices rest and get our hands dirty with some action.
At InteractRDT, we know that voices matter but we believe that actions speak louder. So we’re expressing both this Women’s Month.
Meet Kgomotsego Chiri
Title: Account Manager at InteractRDT
Descriptors: Female, queen, and “mbokodo”, meaning “a woman as solid as a rock”
Women’s Month in 1 word: Recognition
Inspiration: “My late granny taught me respect, love, and the mindset that hard work pays off. She was resilient, and so am I.”
A comment on Women’s Month: “Women’s Month is about celebrating our power and greatness, reflecting on how far we’ve come to fight for equal rights, and identifying what more needs to be done to ensure women are economically empowered and given opportunities to participate equally to close the gender gaps.”
Kgomotsego spent Women’s Day with her family, getting breakfast in bed, having lunch, and working on her dissertation.
Kgomotsego’s take on gender equality in South Africa
Although South Africa’s median gender pay gap is narrowing, Kgomotsego still feels there’s more to be done. In her opinion, institutions should introduce policies to ensure that businesses and employers adhere to DE&I.
Compared to other countries, South Africa is ranked only 45th in the world when it comes to woman-run companies, which is far behind African nations like Uganda (39.6%), Botswana (38.5%), and Ghana (36.5%).
In response to these statistics, Kgomotsego raises two important questions:
“Have we reviewed the international best practices that work for the countries that have progressed in this area?”
“If so, why aren’t we implementing the same strategies?”
She feels that celebrating Women’s Month and having a theme doesn’t quite cut it if there aren’t strategies to ensure improved resilience.
- “Identify the challenges that hinder socio-economic empowerment and participation of women.”
- “Find the resources willing and able to address them.”
- “Promote the strategies.”
Kgomotsego is confident in her role and career at InteractRDT, saying, “In our company, we generally have more women than men. Only certain departments, like the UX Design team, don’t have any women. But I believe that as we grow and expand, this balance is definitely something we will address.”
All Meet Nthabiseng Mabusa
Title: Fieldwork Services Manager at InteractRDT
Descriptors: Female, strong, and brave
Women’s Month in 1 word: Courage
Inspiration: “Oprah Winfrey and Charlotte Maxheke. They inspire me in so many ways. Charlotte is the reason we can celebrate this month. History explains it all.”
A comment on Women’s Month: “Women’s Month represents honour and victory. I think this year’s theme is beautiful and inspiring, and it speaks volumes about the fact that this is our time. We have arrived and landed securely.”
Nthabiseng spent Women’s Day with beautiful, strong, and brave women of prayer and believes that strong women, like these, can create the change we hope for.
Nthabiseng’s take on gender equality in South Africa
Nthabiseng feels that South African women are making progress. Statistics may not remain low for much longer, as empowerment and personal growth continue to rise: “With politically-motivated, strong women in leadership, I believe that we are on track to achieve gender equality by 2030.”
But she does think the gender pay gap remains a critical issue to be dealt with: “Inequality is a major global problem and women are still regarded as weak, frail, and unable. For as long as this mentality persists, jobs done by women will be undervalued – both in terms of societal value and wages.”
Nthabiseng also feels passionate about involving the younger generation in creating a gender-equal future. She asks, “How do we build the younger generation up and instil the values needed to make them more independent, without relying on government or politics for recognition?”
DE&I: A long way to go – or within reach?
South Africa’s median gender pay gap is currently 23% to 35%. But, South Africa is one of only 12 economies in which women’s entrepreneurial activity rates increased in 2021. At InteractRDT we believe that the more research we do, the more insight we’ll have on the strategies needed to combat gender inequality.
Using DE&I market research, businesses and society can identify the right questions to ask, unravel the causes and drivers of inequality, and build more empowerment structures for South African women.
Talk to us for help asking the right questions so you can find the right answers, and advance DE&I for South African women.