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Monday, 29 July 2013 12:39

Empowering women through the Internet

Empowering women through the Internet

Women have been left behind on the technology ladder. Particularly in developing economies, they are trailing men, creating a digital gender gap. However, wired women, with access to the Internet have a powerful tool for empowerment.


This is the view of Sandra Burmeister, CEO of Amrop Landelahni. “The United Nations has deemed high-speed Internet access to be a basic human right. South African policymakers would do well to take note,” she says. “Without widely-available, cheap Internet access, SA will drop out of the knowledge economy, and women will remain the worst off.

Empowering your staff with financial knowledge pays dividends

One of the best investments any company can make is to develop and empower middle managers to take ownership of their area of the business.

Published in Budgeting
Thursday, 18 October 2012 08:55

Collaboration is the key

Collaboration is the key

I was recently following a conversation on LinkedIn about BEE and whether it has failed or succeeded and found it to be such an interesting conversation - more so because all of the participants of different gender, races and ages, were fundamentally agreeing with each other.

Unfortunately they were so quick to argue that they didn’t realise their agreement until much later on in the discussion, and their argument made me realise that South Africa as a nation seems to be doing exactly the same thing.

The issue of empowerment needs to be about increasing the number, value and size of opportunities in South Africa. The principles of BEE are about including all South Africans in the ability to access the economy. This means equal education, equal rights, and equal access to entrepreneurial, corporate or informal employment. Most importantly though, it means choices and economic freedom that is directly related to how hard you work and how committed you are.

All of this is achieved remarkably well in a growth economy, but less so in a struggling economy. South Africa is identified as an investment risk by so many countries in the world due to various factors, but mostly skills shortages, the perception of restrictive regulation and lack of clarity around the leadership of the country.

Many South African companies are downsizing or shutting their doors due to poor economic growth and decreasing profits. How does one focus on anything other than survival when the world faces recession? The recent mining strikes are a classic example of how the poor need more than the back-breaking challenges of employment opportunities just above the poverty line. However, to negotiate better working conditions for our poor we need to showcase South Africa as a politically stable, economically robust, attractive investment destination.

On the back of increased interest in investing in SA and a willingness to negotiate the terms of investment in order to access an attractive market, so too lies our ability to negotiate empowerment commitments, investment in skills development and training and increased social and developmental investment.

So many multinationals are competing with South African businesses globally, so many countries in the world are supporting their SMME markets to export globally as a means to reduce the impact of global recession. By contrast, in South Africa, we seem to be so internally focused on pointing fingers at our inadequacies and frantically trying to grab at the crumbs that are left of the economic pie that we have stopped trying to increase the size of the pie. We seem to have turned on each other when, in these economic times, we should be supporting each other as a united collective, to survive economic turmoil.

Where is the growth strategy? Where are the commercially-linked educational programmes? Where is the commitment to mentorship and skills development in critical skills shortage areas such as energy, renewables, nuclear, mining, construction, engineering and medicine? There needs to be a structured strategy, but the key issue of BEE is fundamentally one of economic and social transformation. Therefore, it should consider all South Africans.

How do we ensure that all South Africans participate in an environment of growth, stability and opportunity? How do we ensure that the majority of South Africans have access to the mainstream economy and all that comes with it? It requires collaboration. It requires us to seek solutions, to be proudly South African and part of rebuilding not only our reputation but our national pride.

Published in BEE
Monday, 15 October 2012 00:00

Be a People’s Boss

Be a People’s Boss

It remains an interesting fact that the term “bossy” means to order people around when in fact; it should refer to empowering, up-skilling and retaining individuals. Being a good boss is about so much more than acting as an authoritarian figure, and getting your employees to love you is about showing them the love in return.


This Bosses' Day we chat to leading comprehensive staffing solutions company, Kelly’s Managing Director, Graham Bentley about how to be a boss that inspires, leads with purpose and grows people into the best they can be: “One thing I always bear in mind is that it truly is an honour and not a right to be a boss. Take the task of guiding people to reach their full potential seriously and you won’t just be a good leader, you’ll be a great one.”


Be Superior at Being a Superior

Bentley offers the following tips and hints to those wishing to up their game in the leadership stakes:

  1. Workers Help Managers Succeed: Realise the true value and worth of teamwork and remain constantly aware of the fact that when your bottom line looks good it’s down to the hard work of your employees
  2. No Boss is an Island: Trust your staff to do the job and do it well. No one appreciates a micro-manager. Delegate and then give your team members the space they need to prove themselves
  3. Empower Decision-Making: Conduct the training necessary to empower your employees to make decisions. Champion the art of decision-making so that your division can operate efficiently in your absence
  4. Tighten Up Your Listening Skills: Make sure your team members feel valued and heard. While time may be money, taking a few minutes to listen to what your employees have to say is a worthwhile investment
  5. Be Grateful: Take any and every opportunity to express your appreciation for your staff.


Be a People’s Person

“When you’re a boss, your job at the end of the day is about people. Always place yourself in the position of your subordinate and remember what it was like to have dreams of occupying a higher rung on the corporate ladder. Have realistic expectations that are clearly expressed, remember that your staff members have lives outside the workplace and always share the credit for a job well done. This is what makes a good boss great,” concludes Bentley.


While this Bosses Day is about giving thanks to superiors, why not give thanks to your people. Be a people’s boss!


Continue to climb the corporate ladder with Kelly – http://www.kelly.co.za/">www.kelly.co.za and ">


Published in Leadership
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