Women in Focus

ABSIP Women in Focus (AWIF) ABSIP has made the empowerment of black women one of its key strategic objectives since 2006 and beyond. Through specific and targeted activities, ABSIP believes that we can make a meaningful contribution towards the progression of women leaders within the financial sector. Women entering financial services, an industry that is dominated by men, require support, mentorship and nurturing.

Without a well-considered intervention, we are unlikely to reach the milestones set in the Financial Sector Charter and the Department of Trade and Industry’s ‘codes of good practice’ with respect to the adequate representation of women at
top levels of influence in decision-making and growth in our economy. AWIF seeks to make this intervention, thereby ensuring that women draw on what is unique to their socialization as women and can create a different path to the top.

Become a member

Members range from individuals who have recently joined the Financial Services Sector to professionals with years of experience. Large Corporates and Small & Medium Firms form the corporate membership

Vision

To be game the changer in the nurturing and development of women.

Mission

  • To identify pipeline of aspiring young women to effectively lead the Financial Services Industry;
  • To provide a support structure and peer networks for black women in the sector through mentorship and learning opportunities;
  • To ensure effective skills transfer and the building of strong, globally competitive women leaders;
  • To be a repository of data on the progression of black women in the sector;
  • To facilitate the pipeline of women to corporate members to ensure they achieve gender diversity; and
  • To serve as a think tank and to contribute towards the broader principles and issues of national interest.

AWIF is headed by Azola Zuma

AWIF Programmes 2017

  • To develop and nurture women into senior and leadership positions.
  • target is 30% at senior levels in Financial Services Sector
  • target 30% for women on boards in the Financial Services Sector
  • To serve as a thought leader on issues affecting women in the sector by providing
  • networking opportunities;
  • to develop mentorship and coaching program
  • to develop and launch the Accredited Leadership Development Program
  • to participate and launch a woman Gender index in South Africa with IWFSA
  • have a database of empowered and developed women who are ready to take on
  • Senior positions for Corporates who are looking to employ.
  • to have at least 300 members who have attended Leadership Programmes facilitated by AWIF.

In 2017 ABSIP relaunched its mentorship programme and this took the format of mentor-mentee chemistry sessions that took place in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the outcome of which was a pairing of mentees to mentors. The mentees were then asked to put together a problem statement which would form the basis of the mentorship. The ABSIP office is tasked with tracking the progress of the mentorship process and progress reports will be furnished annually.

The Leadership development programme was developed alongside Tsheto Leadership academy and Stellenbosch University Business School. The programme is designed to deal with the challenges/barriers that AWIF members face. The objective of the programme is to build a pool of strong and globally competitive women leaders.

The AWIF Leadership Programme which started in November 2013 has been completedby a total of 43 ladies. This training program is unique in its content and focus, which provides emphasis on self-development and the powerful tools that are applicable in many facets of life. The training is the beginning of a journey of self-discovery, self-acknowledgement and self-realisation.

As a lead custodian of professional interest and black business in the financial services sector, ABSIP’s Women In Focus hosted a summit aimed at advancing the development of female professionals in the sector under the theme: “Women for Women”.

The AWIF 2017 Summit boasted an impressive list of women speakers who offered insightful advice and guidance to all who attended, the summit was officially opened by the Founder and Executive Chairperson of Mbekani Group and author of the book “Equal but Different”, Dr. Judy Dlamini. She spoke at length on women participation in the mainstream economy and that they should not be settling for anything lesser compared to their male counterparts.

Speakers at this event encouraged women to stand up and be counted as game changers in the financial space which resonates very well with ABSIP mission to ensuring women progression within the financial sector.

The summit was a resounding success and there were some significant key findings taken from it that are guaranteed to inspire and support women in the Financial Services Sector.

Women’s Day event: An ABSIP YP collaboration with AWIFABSIP YP in collaboration with AWIF had a Women’s Day event on 7 September 2017 at the Old Mutual House in Constantia with inspiring speakers talks from powerful female entrepreneurs from the mining and retail industries:

  • Daphne Nkosi, the Chairperson of Kalagadi Manganese, CEO of Kalahari Resources founder and director of Temoso Technologies Limited, was the keynote speaker.
  • Mishinga Kombo, Head of Enterprise and Supplier Development at Pick ’n Pay, and the right-hand lady to Suzanne Ackerman at Pick ‘n Pay.
  • Ntombi Nonxuba, Director of Rise Uniforms, which is an all-female supplier to Pick ’n Pau.

The event was well attended even though it had a R100 cover charge. This showed the high level of interest and commitment from our members. The audience enjoyed the honest conversations of the challenges women face in male-dominated industries and learned how to navigate these challenges by being true to themselves.

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2017 AWIF Summit Resolutions

1. To continue to engage, partner and support AUC on Agenda 2063 vision and plan strategically for the next 10 years in line with this;
2. In line with DTI’s black Industrialist programme – ABSIP vows to support the creation of black women industrialists as a means to industrialize our country.
3. To continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders including asset and fund managers to invest and inject capital in the manufacturing, value-adding process and, agro–processing for the benefit of women.
4. To upscale an already existing ABSIP mentorship programme to ensure that ABSIPer’s continue to benefit from it.
5. Ensure that we continue to advance and make inroads towards the realization of the resolutions taken at our previous Summits, and
6. To start a process of documenting women’s Leadership lessons (case studies) to allow others to learn and be able to be inspired by their peers, mentors and /or role models.

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