Women’s purpose in our generation
By Macy Chitepo
THE month of March every year, we commemorate the impact made by women throughout the world in a celebration we know as Women’s History Month. Most European countries, however, commemorate Women’s Month in August.
This year’s theme, “I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights”, is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, ‘Generation Equality’ which marks the 25th anniversary of the ‘Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action’. Adopted in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, the Beijing Platform for Action is recognised as the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.
It has been noted that most boards or executive committees constitute a large number of males and very few female executives. By Generation Equality, women are trying to advocate for equality in different sectors in line with the Beijing resolutions. According to a UN article published in December, 2019, “Women and girls continue to be undervalued; they work more and earn less and have fewer choices; and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces. Furthermore, there is a significant threat of rollback of hard-won feminist gains”.
With regards to the above I am going to look at some of the characteristics that have made women phenomenal, I am not going to focus on the negatives but I want to explore our different strengths as women and our purpose in most organisations. Below, I am going to touch on some of the characteristics that make women valuable treasures in most organisations.
Every organisation wants to employ loyal people and I am glad to say that women stand out in this regard. For most organisations that have retained staff members, women have proved to be more loyal. One of my lecturers always queried how one would want to move to another organisation after having worked for only three years? This is debatable, and most of the young blood in my class argued that within that period, they want to move to target another opportunities. In as much as we want to look for greener pastures, most organisations would rather limit staff turnover.
W. Edwards Deming, in ‘Out of the Crisis’, describes constancy to purpose as long term thinking about the organisation as a system. And it relates to creating organizations that push decision making to those in the system. As women we need to know our purpose, what are you called for, what is your mission, what are you passionate about and above all this you need to know your profession.
By now most of you now know that I am so passionate about women and I have made it clear from the very beginning that it is my wish to see all board rooms and all newsrooms full of women because that’s my passion. Whatever it is that you are good at and that you love and are paid for, show the world that you can shine and let no one take away your light from you.
It is through self-respect that we find a lot of women positioned where they are. Once you employ a woman or appoint her to a certain position, she will definitely thrive to prove a point. Because of self-respect women are passionate about what they do, which is why most of them know that once you respect yourself, you also attract the respect of all those around you. Most women have earned self-respect just by walking away from things that distract them from progressing, which is why you find them dominating in social circles and voluntary work.
Women inspire each other through various initiatives by constantly improving design of product and service in most organisations. I am inspired by women who, in this day and age, continue to sharpen the axe by channeling their financial resources into further education. During this global Covid-19 pandemic, I have come across women who are innovative. Most women have lost their jobs but have risen to the occasion and have had to allocate the available resources for long-term planning because no one knows when this “new normal” will come to an end.
Thus, I find most women to be inspirational from all walks of life.
Rose Nhamo once told me that whenever there is mention of the top HR practitioners, she wants her name to be there and yes, she is managing director at Distinctive Consultancy Services and also board chairman at Tropical Reinsurance Company.
Women continue to empower each other through different means. Most continue to share their living testimonies/true life testimonies of where they have come from. Books have been written, documentaries done and all this just to empower other women out there. “One of the greatest things you can do to help others is not just to share and give what you have, but to help them discover what they have within themselves to help themselves”, says Rita Zahara.
We have heard quite a number of testimonies that have moved the young blood to be where they are today, thus empowering others. We all know how Dr Hope Sadza, founder of Women’s University in Zimbabwe, started the institution.
Who does not know of Dr Divine Ndhlukula and her Securico security company, which grew from humble beginnings in 1998. In the education sector, we have a lot of women who have started pre-schools from a one room while some are heading colleges that offer studies up to A level — a good example is Molly Mupfunya in Manicaland who is the founder of Milestone Group of Schools.
Through determination and inspiration, we have a whole world full of empowering, inspiring, motivational women. To all the women out there, I salute you in your different sectors, and this is to many more years of powerful women.