“I am reminded of the movie titled “There is something about Mary”. Well, I want to raise my voice out loud and clearly state “There is something about Mary, Sue, Anne, Carol and every other woman out there!! I truly believe that the world can change if women in this world are awakened to their true self. If they can see their own beauty and if they can step into their own worth and value.” These are the words of Catherine van Heerden, Psychologist, Author, Speaker, Coach and Facilitator.
She further explains that our self-concepts and how we esteem our own worthiness – what we think and feel about ourselves – significantly impact our professional performance, and for women to be truly empowered in business they need to recognise and illustrate their self-worth. It’s important to acknowledge that the qualities, skills and competencies we develop do not have to be gender-based.
“Gender thinking can undermine women’s careers and impose self-limitations. In developing countries like South Africa, it’s important that the private sector intensifies its role in the economic empowerment of women, however it’s essential that we first understand that ‘empowerment’ does not suggest that women need to act more like men. I still find that view to be alive and thriving in the corporate space.”
“Boldness, decisiveness, strong leadership and risk taking are traditionally described as male dominant qualities, but these shouldn’t be ascribed to a particular gender – they are human qualities first and foremost,” explains Catherine. “I mean, aren’t women told that ‘they have balls’ when they show courage? Do we ever say to men that they have ‘boobs’ when they had compassion? I am just saying…..”
It is whether we as women can retrain ourselves and understand that we have the right to lead, to make decisions and to take risks.
Workplace gender-bias and equality is difficult to escape, even in this day – it’s a phenomenon throughout all industries across the globe. Addressing these issues requires a strategic approach that looks at the culture of the organisation, weighing up existing company initiatives and company priorities. “However, women can’t wait for corporations or even society to address this gender-bias and equality, we need to look at ourselves and our immediate environment to understand what we can do to change the situation, dependent on what each of us want and desire for our own individual lives.” Catherine advises.
“Speaking from my own personal experience, I know what it means to construct your own future by the way you think, how you conduct yourself and how you invest in controlling and guiding your own thoughts. There is much power in deciding who you want to be and how you want to show up in your life each and every day, despite your past realities or your current restraints. I know for some women this is extremely hard as culture and societal limitations often set clear boundaries for women.”
It’s about taking ownership of your career, having a clear vision and clarity of your life purpose and meaning and constantly emphasising and demonstrating the value of your strengths or value propositions to your world.
To make this more accessible to women and providing them with a practical platform to be mobilised into a journey of self-discovery, Catherine has partnered with Susana Kennedy who is also extremely passionate about women empowerment – to create a three-day highly interactive and dynamic workshop uniquely designed specifically to empower women in business.
The Success Portal workshop, which takes place from August 11 to August 13 at VENUE in Johannesburg, offers women career coaching, goal setting guidance and planning on how to identify the need for and implement change. Catherine has designed a cognitive model to mobilise people into making good decisions.
“Through the Success Portal event, participants can expect to gain a newfound inspiration and a sense of achievement,” says Catherine. “It provides women with a dynamic opportunity to become ‘unstuck’ in their careers, relationships and/or other areas in their lives and will help them design their own professional path in a welcoming environment of career-focused women.”
In an interview with FastCompany.com, Arianna Huffington, author of Lean In, said it was the voice in her head and negative self-talk that had the power to hold her back in her career. Catherine and Susana will work with delegates to address and overcome this negative self-talk that so many women experience.
Importantly, the Success Portal event provides the opportunity for delegates to network with like-minded women AND be introduced to successful women who have acquired ‘Celebrity’ status. The power duo is pleased to announce that PJ Powers and Kamini Patha will be their guests during the session in August and participants will also be treated to some of Kamini’s delicious creations.
“Our event is limited to just 20 to 30 women maximum, to encourage authentic and genuine engagement amongst participants and with myself and Susana,” explains Catherine.
“Strategic networking and mentorship is critical for career advancements – relationships are important and can often play an important role in success.”
To register for the Success Portal event, visit http://www.thesuccessportal.org
Win A Seat At 10X-e’s 10X-ECUTION Bootcamp (Valued At R5900)
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Off The Beaten Track
What Tourism Month means in South Africa and how Mango Airlines is focusing on local opportunities.
This September, being Tourism Month, we have so much to talk about in South Africa, and so many people to engage with, both domestically and abroad. We are privileged to be able to leverage a broad range of destinations – arguably world-class in nature, and they expand way beyond a beautiful mountain, and an ecosystem of game.
The vast majority of leisure tourists, however, remain attracted to the Mother City and various Safari destination, while business tourists tend to stick to hub cities for short durations of time before departing again.
“There is a golden opportunity to expand on the same offerings – while not detracting from them in any way. Our responsibility is to drive tourism into new areas, really emphasising the differentiators that are incredibly attractive to local and international tourists,” said Benediction Zubane, Head of Marketing at Mango Airlines.
“Often tourists visit one of the more well-known sites in an area, and are completely unaware of the other features and destinations close by. We’re seeing a lot of success in township tourism which goes to show how diversifying can really drive new tourism opportunities,” explained Zubane.
According to Statistics South Africa survey on Tourism and Migration, nearly 3.5 million international travellers visited South Africa in August 2017. Top numbers were tourists from USA, UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands, with African visitors primarily coming from SADC countries. Zubane added, “This means there is vast opportunity to begin engaging with travellers in new countries across the globe. We need to become our own best ambassador, talking-up our famous and lesser known destinations, proudly showcases our uniqueness. We should also be tourists in our own country and start exploring the wonders of the Rainbow Nation.”
Mango is passionate about helping its SMEs and entrepreneurial community to successfully overcome the unique challenges facing the tourism industry: “There has never been a more opportune time for small businesses and entrepreneurs to benefit positively from tourism in South Africa, and we hope to celebrate alongside our SME community as they fly high – both literally and figuratively,” he concludes.
FNB Receives 50 Million US-Dollars To Accelerate SME Development
First National Bank puts their focus on SME development in South Africa.
First National Bank (FNB) has received 50 million US-dollars from the DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft to deploy towards small and medium enterprise (SME) development in South Africa.
DEG is a development finance institution whose mission is to promote private-sector enterprises in developing and emerging-market countries as a contribution to sustainable growth and improved living conditions.
Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business says: “The new line of funding contributes to our ongoing efforts to accelerate our contribution to SME development in South Africa. We believe that SMEs are key to stimulating sustainable economic growth and job creation. Our intervention in SME development is not only limited to funding, we also invest heavily to improve capacity and supplier development capabilities in small businesses.”
FNB continues to pioneer products and services that have taken the angst out of South Africa’s entrepreneurs, from providing free instant accounting services to online documents reservation services, and forming public-private partnerships to digitise the registration of businesses.
“Our message to entrepreneurs is that we remain committed to providing meaningful solutions to help them grow. We have exciting developments that will take us further in our journey, all aimed at advancing the SME agenda by taking the anguish out of doing business,” concludes Vacy-Lyle.
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