– by Ayanda Radebe
The role of women in society continues to play a significant role in making a positive impact and bringing about meaningful change in many people’s lives. Whilst this is paramount, the difficulties women face in society and corporate spaces remain no secret. On the 29th of August 2023, UKZN Extended Learning leapt at the opportunity to be part of the drive towards impactful change at the Evolution of Women In Leadership Conference. The conference aimed to empower women by promoting activism against gender-based violence and feminism. It aimed to create a blueprint by addressing these issues to destigmatise and allow abuse victims to speak about it openly without feeling ashamed.
Delving deeper into the historical conference, which featured phenomenal and influential guest speakers, women leaders and experts from diverse backgrounds, there were a handful of key takeaways concerning women in leadership. While we acknowledge the significant roles that women played to pave the way for future generations to step into positions of power and authority, one cannot ignore the groundbreaking impact this has made.
Although one of the recurring themes discussed at the conference was the persistent glass ceiling that women face in climbing the corporate ladder, speakers shared their experiences and strategies for overcoming these barriers. Speakers and participants emphasised the importance of mentorship, networking and self-confidence and were encouraged to challenge societal norms and further advocate for gender equality in the workplace.
The conference highly recognised the importance of nurturing and developing leadership skills among women as this drives many elements such as effective communication, negotiation and assertiveness in the workplace. As UKZN Extended Learning, having had the opportunity to attend this prestigious event with the main aim to drive and affirm the possibilities of continuous learning and seeking opportunities for potential growth, we further encourage all the women of change to enrol and be a part of the exceptional High Impact: Women in Leadership programme. This three-day programme, commencing on the 1st of November 2023, focuses on developing leadership practice and gives women leaders the tools to increase their leadership impact and visibility in a predominantly male environment. While gender inequality remains an ongoing issue, we are confident that with determination and collective efforts, the future is bright for women in leadership.