Tsogo Sun and Proudly South African placed the spotlight firmly on the vital role of women in leadership at their annual celebration of Women’s Month, this year also commemorating the contribution of one of the most revered South African women of all time – Ma’ Albertina Sisulu, who dedicated her life to the fight for emancipation of women and the liberation of South Africa.

In the spirit of citizenship, Tsogo Sun and Proudly South African showcased the strength and impact that powerful women can have on business, the environment, communities and other women. The programme, led by MC Ayanda Allie-Paine, included welcome addresses by Tsogo Sun’s Candy Tothill and Proudly South African’s Happy Ngidi; and talks by Catherine Constantinides and Ella Bella Leite Constantinides, the driving forces behind the Miss Earth South Africa leadership programme, which empowers young women with knowledge to create a sustainable difference in the natural environment; and Nomsa Mazibuko, a remarkable entrepreneur who was the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 and owns the Visit Vakasha establishments in Mpumalanga.

Says Happy Ngidi, Chief Officer: Marketing & Communications, Proudly South African, “This is the second year in which we have collaborated with Tsogo Sun on an event which celebrates women. We have extended last year’s ‘Women in Business’ theme to ‘Women in Leadership’ and acknowledge some of this country’s most formidable women leaders, including Mme Albertina Sisulu whose centenary we are celebrating in 2018. Through leadership we uplift, and as women we must lead and uplift each other. This is a significant event that recognises the work of the women who have gone before us and celebrates today’s female leadership.”.

Commenting on Tsogo Sun’s focus on gender equality in the workforce, Candy Tothill, General Manager of Corporate Affairs for Tsogo Sun, says, “Tsogo Sun’s recognition of the role of women in business, and in broader society, is evidenced by the group’s gender equality figures – 53% of Tsogo Sun’s 14,000 employees are women and 44% of Tsogo Sun’s executives and senior management are women.

“Our figures reflect that Tsogo Sun has a strong focus on developing female managers within the group. The fact is that, at 39%, our senior leadership figure is substantially higher than the global average of senior business roles held by women, which is 24%, down from 25% in 2017,” she explains.

South Africa’s national average is slightly higher than the global figure, at 28% as stated in the latest Grant Thornton South Africa Women in Business report of 2017. Internationally, the number of women in CEO roles in Fortune 500 companies dropped from 6.4% of the total in 2017 to 4.8% in 2018.

“We are proud of the strides we are making in pursuit of equality in the group, but we are certainly not resting on our laurels and remain firmly committed to creating opportunities and ensuring gender diversity,” continues Tothill.

In addition to policies that entrench gender equality in the workplace, Tsogo Sun has been uplifting women in empowerment programmes such as the ‘Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs’, which supports 242 businesses across South Africa, 80% of which are women-owned, and the Miss Earth SA leadership development programme that empowers hundreds of young women to become environmental youth ambassadors and role models in society.

Tothill adds, “Tsogo Sun is proud of all our employees, but each year around National Women’s Month in South Africa, we pause consciously to acknowledge their powerful contribution to our organisation, their excellent engagement with each other and with their teams, their encouragement of development, and their overall positive, hard-working and diligent approach to the business. Women have long been discriminated against in the business world, and still are in many corporate offices, and by applauding our contingent of wonderful, accomplished women, we hope to encourage upliftment and empowerment of women in business.”

Tsogo Sun has a portfolio of over 100 hotels and 13 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa and the Seychelles. For more details, visit https://www.tsogosun.com, follow on Twitter @TsogoSun or like on Facebook /TsogoSun. Continue the conversation on women’s leadership with @TsogoSun and @ProudlySA #WomenLead.

For more information about Proudly South African please visit www.proudlysa.co.za

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