Non-Executive Director, Sylvia Siphugu, shares insight on driving change for women and discusses her experiences with empowerment in the workplace.
Sylvia Siphugu is a true believer in the power of women. And as the fourth industrial revolution gains even more momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic, she is confident that, with the right empowerment initiatives in place, the future is female.
“As more women step into leadership roles in corporate South Africa, we are seeing them drive economic growth on an unprecedented scale,” says Sylvia. “And several companies who have women at the helm are showing a marked increase in sustainability and economic growth.”
“Women are making waves in managerial positions in our country. And I believe it’s time to acknowledge that and feed into it more, in the interest of continued economic growth. What really drew me into CZ Electronics is the fact that the majority of their staff complement is made up of black women.”
“This is very much a business that is powered by women. And I believe we should be leading by example, by providing more opportunities for these women to boost their skills bases and advance their careers into professional positions. The economy sustains us as a truly South African business. And by that token, it’s our responsibility to keep the economy growing by consistently creating new employment opportunities.
“Training and skills development for women is much-needed in the manufacturing sector. I would like to see more female engineers, electronics experts, and other professionals emerging from our training initiatives. And I hope that this will have a knock-on effect by boosting income streams on a large scale.
“Women are just as capable as men at leading. And we are seeing women perform extremely well as leaders in corporate South Africa. There is no reason for women to be excluded anymore. In terms of the progress that has been made so far in transformation, I would say we’ve made a good start. But it is an ongoing journey and women need to strive to better themselves on an ongoing basis.
“On a positive note, more women are proving that they are highly capable leaders. We can take control in a world that is slowly becoming less male-dominated. I am inspired by women who set an example every day. Gloria Serobe, for example, has pioneered women’s empowerment as the CEO of WIPHOLD. It is figures like her that I hope young women look up to.
“If I could give one piece of advice to young women who are starting their career paths, I would say that educating yourself any way you can is the key to success. Your career can only continue to advance if you never stop learning. And learning does not end in the classroom. We can learn from our experiences every day – about business, the economy, life, and even about ourselves”.
On staying motivated, Sylvia concludes, “As a woman, having sound principles is also extremely important in cultivating an environment that is conducive to respect and success. Integrity matters in the workplace and it inspires others to follow your lead. Believe in yourself. Believe that you are capable and that you will succeed. Conviction and change begin with you”.
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