During this CCBSA and Business Day Dialogue, industry experts discussed how business leaders can advance gender equality

Gender equality is not just a matter of social justice; it is a fundamental human right, and business leaders are in a unique position to bring about tangible change.

In the second quarter of 2022, men occupied more than 67% of the total managerial roles in the country and only 54.3% of women of working age participated in the labour force as employed or looking for work. These numbers are alarming and highlight the need for gender disparity in the country to be urgently addressed.

Business leaders have a pivotal role to play in advancing gender equality, a topic that was discussed at the Business Day Dialogues, a live series in partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages SA (CCBSA).

Velaphi Ratshefola, MD of CCBSA and recipient of the Standard Bank Top Gender Empowered: Male Driving Gender Empowerment award, led the discussion and brought his extensive expertise on bridging the gender divide and what it means for economic advancement in the country.

“As corporate leaders, we have a collective responsibility to shape more inclusive cultures that promote diversity and inclusion, implement fair hiring practices, and ensure equal pay for equal work. By doing so, we not only foster a more equitable workplace but contribute to societal progress,” says Ratshefelo.

“It’s time to actively engage in conversations about gender as a human right by challenging these stereotypes and fostering an environment where all employees feel valued and empowered, regardless of their gender identity.”

The discussion was moderated by political analyst, Nompumelelo Runji, celebrated author of How I Took Back My Power, which is a candid exploration of her journey to healing after leaving her emotionally abusive husband, and the devastating impact of generational trauma.

“I’m very excited to be a part of such an important conversation as a voice for those who have no voice in the country. I want people to see that someone who has had a traumatic personal experience can still be empowered and successful if those in positions of power advocate for gender equality as a fundamental human right and take proactive steps to address this crucial issue,” says Runji.