Cell C hosted a launch of the 16th annual Take a Girl Child to Work Day initiative which seeks to give female learners a day to experience the workplace.
The initiative, which will take place on 24 May, was started to give young women insight into the corporate world and experience the various career opportunities that are available.
At the launch, the top 12 Miss South Africa finalists gathered with the head girls of various schools around Johannesburg to listen to inspirational talks from the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, as well as Phuti Mahanyele, Emma Sadleir and first princess in last year’s Miss South Africa pageant, Alexandra’s very own Boipelo Mabe.
Mabe emphasised that it is important for young girls to be whoever they want to be without being boxed into certain roles. “You can be smart, you can be beautiful, you can wear the sash and stand in front of parliament and say what you want to say, it’s okay to play all these different roles without having to be told that it’s not right for that moment or that environment.”
Mkhwebane said she hopes the initiative will encourage more corporate companies to get involved and target rural areas as well. “Section 9 of our Constitution and several pieces of legislation made affirmative action and transformation a non-negotiable process, which was a huge victory for women. It was a bold and progressive move but I wish I could tell you that all these constitutional provisions and laws and policies have translated into an even playing field for women.”
Mkhwebane added that a global study conducted by Pulse of the People last year showed that women earn 27 per cent less than men in the workplace. She added that there needs to be greater effort by various government departments to ensure that this changes.
She said that while it is vital to give young girls support in the workplace, it is also essential not to neglect the needs of young boys.
Mahanyele, who is the CEO of Sigma Capital, concluded by saying it is important for women to find their purpose in life and have the courage to work toward that purpose, despite the challenges they may face.
Details: To register for the Take a Girl Child to Work Day go to www.cellcgirlchild.co.za
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