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City facilitates workshop to uplift female leaders
​Halima Khunoethe
Hundreds of women were recently enhanced with knowledge to be better leaders at a workshop held at Moses Mabhida Stadium on 10 April under the theme: “Inspiring positive change”.

The workshop, a brainchild of the City’s Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE) in partnership with Human Resources's Employment Equity Office. The Women in Leadership Workshop aimed at empowering and motivating women to participate in meaningful career development and take on leadership for important causes and also to lead change with more conviction and confidence, while also improving their workplaces and communities at large for all.

Deputy Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders Inkosi P.T. Zulu spoke about the role of female leaders. “As traditional leaders it is our duty to be promoters and preservers of culture including indigenous languages; even though our communities are being developed and influenced by other cultures we must not be detached from our roots. I urge you all to always have confidence on other leaders of the same gender. Do not be afraid to innovate and reinvent,” said her Majesty Zulu.

COGTA's Chief Director for Capacity Building Halima Khunoethe, delivered a message of support. “This is a platform for women to acknowledge and reminisce on challenges and achievements, share with others our successes. Let us be cooperative instead of being competitive,” said Director Halima.

Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said the Municipality recommits itself to focusing its attention on issues
affecting women as well as raise awareness of the plight of women. “The city works closely with
many women organisations to ensure that their needs as a stakeholder are known and addressed
through our Council programmes,” she said.

She also added that having more women in government, academia, business and organised civil society is crucial for many reasons. Serving as role models tops the list, but more importantly these women get to put women’s issues in front and centre on the agenda. “When women are meaningfully represented and engaged in leadership roles, then the laws, rulings, and decisions are more likely to be inclusive and representative, and will take diverse views into account,” said Deputy Mayor Peer.

Acting Deputy City Manager for Community and Emergency Services Noluthando Magewu welcomed guests, and reflected on the position that women are in the corporate ladder. “We need to challenge our own biasness and stereotypes. We need to be careful with the image that we display and we also need to be good role models to the younger generation,” she said ABSA Head of Regional Coverage Tozi Mthethwa spoke about boundaries and how women can use boundaries in their daily journeys.

The purpose of boundaries is not to control people but it is to create meaningful relationships. One of the ways we can inspire change in our community is to set the bar high in our respective fields and we need to share our journey and experiences in order to stimulate growth and take ownership and responsibility of everything that we do Chief Executive Officer of uShaka Marine World Dr Stella Khumalo talked about the benefits to organisations and society from having more women leaders. She said: “organisation, adaptability, decisiveness, and honesty are key factors in determining what makes a capable leader. Collaborative skills, creativity and innovation are what make us women leaders stand out,” said Dr Khumalo.

Innate Investment Solution Chief Executive Officer Lynette Ntuli talked about inspiring leadership.
She stated that leadership is often characterised by glory and power. “If women will lead with effect
we must accept that we cannot lead in the same social, cultural and economic construct we have
been hesitantly invited to. We have to define a new way of being in that world and a new way to
influence that world,” she said.

Day 1 was divided into 3 sessions
Session 1 was the official opening of the workshop it included speeches from INkosi P. T Zulu, deputy
mayor Fawzia Peer, Noluthando Magewu, Halima Khunoethe anad Tozi Mtheethwa. Session 2 was held under the topic “yourself as a leader- Developing your leadership identity. Dr Stella Khumalo administered a presentation on “Benefits to organisation and society from having more women leaders. Lynette Ntuli talked about “Inspiring Leadership”. It was concluded by a leadership quiz that was facilitated by the Virginie Nothard, a leadership and business coach, trainer and speaker from International Career.

Session 3 focussed on “The current state of women’s leadership”. The first session was a group
exercise about “Barriers and Challenges to women’s advanced” which was facilitated MILE’s
Programme Manager Genevieve Hartley. It ended with Cecile Richards delivering a speech under the
topic “The political progress women have made and what’s next.
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