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A gender equal world

Edzai Marange

The globe will be lit and connected like a giant city, celebrating International Women’s Day 2020 under the theme “Each For Equal”, #eachforequal. The idea behind an equal world is an enabled world and we can all collectively help to create a gender equal world. The gender equal world is a long-awaited phenomenon, which, in this decade, would be the new reality.

The key questions to ask are: ‘Is there anything wrong with a gender equal world? Is there anything bad about having gender balanced boardrooms, gender balanced governments and gender balanced other areas? Does diversity lead to productivity and great business performance? The business world has long debated the effect of gender diversity on business outcomes.

I believe the balance could lead to a healthier, wealthier and more harmonious environment for business, economies and communities to thrive. Gender diversity and balance eliminate the stigma on equality as a women’s issue but should be considered as a business issue. It is then everyone’s responsibility to drive equality from a positive perspective to achieve its impact and meaning in businesses and economies the world over. Gender diversity powerlifts productivity and performance leading innovating thinking for business growth. Gender inclusivity can be a signal to investors that a business is competently run and reflects an attractive work environment that draw for talent and expertise.

Interesting to note is that women in leadership have exhibited great competencies in business turnaround and success. Minimising the gender gap will have significant economic and business impact as women will participate more equally to men in the leadership roles. In Zimbabwe, a lot of women have proved their competencies in running successful businesses and also taking up roles to lead big organisation. It is this background that Women on Board Zimbabwe (WoBZ )must train and groom women to be ready to take up leadership roles. WoBZ should help in board gender constitution to close the gender imbalance on corporate and public boards. This would be an empowering move that will positively impact the economy and business in its entirety.

Women on Board Zimbabwe may also need to play a pivotal role to level the corporate playing field to ensure gender balance in business and politics. More gender diversity in corporate settings can translate to business success, greater innovation and better decision-making. WoBZ can work on the disparity of higher level leadership position to ensure gender balance is attained at both corporate and public settings.

Women in leadership must also help in support to elevate other fellow women to assume leadership roles and board leadership roles. Women must also work to improve and create opportunities for female counterparts, inspiring them to take higher level positions and making them visible. An mentorship programme would help to stop inequality women experience from fellow women who have assumed leaderships.

Women must not be obstacles to other women’ success as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2020 in this new decade with the theme #eachforequality. Women must take the leading role in feminisation of global leadership, generally associated with women to the process of leading organisations with worldwide influence, thus girl power. For the sole reason that men have held most leadership positions in the societies for a long time my call to action is ‘Women arise and support each other to rise’, #eachforequality. Leadership is not inherently masculine as such women who have broken the glass ceiling and progressed to the top leadership roles have shown great competence and capabilities that it is not about gender.

Men and women have distinctive leadership styles, with men more likely to view leadership as an outcome of transactions with others. Women, on the other hand, are more transformational, using their interpersonal skills and hard work to motivate or transform their subordinates rather than applying positional power. This light creates the need for gender balance in both corporate and public settings.

The visionary of Business Etiquette Clinic (Pvt) Ltd, a soft skills laboratory in Zimbabwe and an entity which specialises in business professional soft skills training programmes. Soft skills cut across all sectors of the economy and are critical for success at both individual and corporate level. Marange is also a certified global leadership coach who launched a virtual inspirational Thinking Space for professional experts and business leaders for picking fresh and latest inspirations and ideas.

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