GABORONE – As the world commemorated International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2020, Stanbic Bank Botswana hosted a series of engagements that seek to truly identify obstacles towards gender parity in business and across wider societal constructs. The Bank has consistently taken a strong stance on issues of diversity and inclusion, passionately advocating for equal opportunity, progressive platforms and not only tolerance and fairness, but the kind of culture and ecosystems that allow women to thrive.
This was the sentiment once again reaffirmed by the Bank at engagements hosted this week for both internal and external stakeholders, cementing the Standard Bank Group support of the United Nations Global HeForShe Women Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality and is further supported by the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day #EachForEqual.
Gender equity is a fundamental human right, and Stanbic Bank is committed to help create a gender-equal world. Achieving gender equity is a moral duty and a business imperative for the Bank. “Women embody half the world’s talent, skill and energy – and more than half of its purchasing power. Every sensible business leader must be committed to achieving gender equity in their company and to contributing to gender equity in the societies in which we operate,” says Stanbic Bank Botswana Chief Executive, Samuel Minta.
Women were engaged in Francistown on Monday 2 March 2020 in an effort championed by the Bank’s Human Capital under Inclusive Diversity drive. Amongst the guests, was Ms Sylvia Muzila, Former Mayor of the City of Francistown who narrated the story of how she became the city’s first female Mayor and shared words of advice to those present on how women can keep moving forward in their professions.
Said Pinkie Douglas, Stanbic Bank Senior Human Capital Business Partner, “Last year, we launched our Women’s Network Forum, and now we continue to build on this. I cannot stress how important it is that we come together to of combat the multitude of negative stereotypes and negative, even destructive, behaviours around and of women, especially of women in the workplace. We need to look at reshaping and reinforcing the role we can all play to advance equality for all.”
In Gaborone, employees and business partners were engaged on Thursday 5 March 2020 at Botswana Craft to continue the conversation and build an enhanced culture of inclusion, progress, equality, as well as HeForShe support. Guest speaker at the Gaborone event, Pearl Gaone Ranna, CEO of Agrinvestec, underscored the fact that women can do anything they wish to do in any field. “As a woman who is penetrating a sector that has been perceived as a male dominated industry, I have grown to appreciate efforts by both the private and public sector in promoting the rise of Women in Agriculture.
From my end, celebrating Women’s Day has always been a time to reflect on the transition and the role that Women play daily in ensuring that Botswana is Food secure. It brings me great joy to see both Men and Women working, supporting and empowering one another in the Agribusiness sector, which shows that efforts to create a gender equal environment is the responsibility of both men and women, and we can only hope, such movements are passed onto the boy and girl child.” Ranna continues to inspire many with her work in the Agriculture space.
“It brings us great joy to see women celebrate and uplift each other as they shared what #EachForEqual means to them during these engagements. We need to ensure the focus and the momentum do not want, as we work to change our cultural and societal constructs and perceptions of and for women. We have women in leadership roles of various levels, in their homes, families, workplaces and communities, across Botswana.
We have been head of the proverbial curve compared to other markets for many years, but we do not and must not let it rest there. There is more progress to be made and we can and will deliver on this,” concluded Ms. Siamisang Thokie Morolong, Head of Legal and Inclusive Diversity
Champion, Stanbic Bank Botswana, on the night.