The PROWEB High Tea was held on the 11th of November 2017, where over 80 professional and business women were in attendance. The invited captains of industry were; Nigel MK Chanakira, Chairman of Success Motivation Institute, Eng.Casper Chigwedere, board chairman of ZARNet and Douglas Mboweni C.E.O of Econet Wireless. The purpose of the High Tea with Captains of Industry was to have a “key hole view” into the lives of the captains within our community. Also to understand how they did it and take a leaf from them and apply it to one’s own professional and executive lives.
PROWEB has observed women are now occupying senior positions, managing companies and businesses, and entering into spaces that were previously male dominated. The Confederation of Zimbabwe conducted a gender analysis in the manufacturing sector and noted that the number of female chief executive officers had risen from 5% in 2016 to 13.45% in 2017 with about half of the female CEOs heading the country largest corporations. The study also showed that 47% of companies headed by women are classified as large that is employing 100 or more employees. Despite this, the level of participation is still very low despite women being 52 % of the population. It’s only fewer women who are breaking through and sustaining their business/ professions over a long period of time. It is against this background and many other factors that PROWEB decided to put together such a programme with the male captains of industry. The platform provided an opportunity to hear from industry leaders and answer questions about their specific industry and how they got where they are today.
The 3 captains of industry narrated their own life journey citing their most and major significant achievements. A plenary session was conducted where the women got to ask questions and share their own experiences. Issues addressed by the captains touched on
- What can we do in order to survive, as women, in these seemingly aggressive spaces?
- The current economic environment is it posing different challenges for us as women as compared to men?
The captains noted that the environment is presenting equal opportunities for both males and females. They encouraged women to;
- Be goal oriented with clear targets and timelines
- Acquire the relevant skills needed for a particular
- Take advantage of opportunities and do not be afraid risk
- Be Confident , Assertiveness and demand your space as a woman
- Form partnership for joint bids/ bit bonds
- Establish good networks
In summary the Captains and PROWEB Trustees concluded by saying,
- “When offered a seat in a rocket, don’t ask for which seat. Just get on board” Nigel MK Chanakira
- “To be competent it’s not about being male or female. Get skills and commercialise on them” Casper Chigwedere.
- “Core-Competency is that which differentiates you from others in any environment, find it and leverage upon it” Douglas Mboweni
- “Women generally struggle with relationships thus they cannot build their businesses” Florence Ziumbe,( PROWEB founder)
- “Humility is the foundation of learning” Tendayi Mamvura, (PROWEB Trustee)
- “ Women are fearfully and wonderfully made and should not overlook each other” Prisca Utete, (PROWEB Trustee)(PROWEB Trustee)