Women leaders give back to rising professionals

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Johannesburg – Women, who are leaders in their respective fields, took time of out of their busy schedules this weekend to invest in the next generation of rising professionals.

The women convened at the Marks Park Sports Club in Johannesburg on Saturday for the Annual Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk.

The event, the second of its kind, saw established women leaders being matched with young professionals to serve as mentors, offering career advice, support and guidance.

Among the mentors were Deputy Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Co-founder and Innovation Catalyst at SynNovation, Truida Prekel, High Court attorney Andiswa Ndoni, Founder and Managing Director of Redefine Human Capital, Irisha Luhanga, and Human Resource Manager: Saint-Gobain Construction Products, Barbara Ayissi, among others.

According to event organiser, Hema Vallabh, the Mentoring Walk underscores the value of women’s leadership and exemplifies the transformative impact women have when they join together to promote positive change throughout the world.

“Mentoring is critical to empower women to succeed and for advancing women’s leadership for the future, “she said.

Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said the event aimed to encourage youth to pursue their dreams and mentor them in various issues at work, school or in social situations.

The Deputy Minister said mentoring was important to her because she encountered challenges when she first took up her first cabinet position in 2011.

“There was nobody to hold me, to say this is how this must go and these are the challenges you are likely to face and how you must respond to them.

“I then identified a gap … if we are to take leadership seriously, especially building young women, we need to ensure that there are people who have walked the path and who are able to share their experiences,” the Deputy Minister told SAnews on Saturday.

Mentoring is not without its own challenges, however.

“Making time is the most challenging aspect for the person you are mentoring and the thought that the mentees future also depends on what you will be doing as a mentor,” she said.

One of the mentees, Phedzani Netshitenzhe, said she was happy that so many people were willing to help others.

Netshitenzhe, who herself mentors high school learners, said the sessions have also helped accelerate the impact of women leaders. –SAnews.gov.za