Women’s Month 2022: Celebrating Women and Leadership


August is Women’s Month in South Africa. This month provides the nation with an opportunity to celebrate the strength and resilience of women and their contribution to society.

This month is special in South Africa because we commemorate the 1956 women’s march. On the 9th of August 1956, over 20000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to present a petition containing more than 100 000 signatures against the country’s pass laws that required South Africans defined as “black” under The Population Registration Act to carry an internal passport.

Women’s Month is a necessary time to celebrate women while also highlighting the issues that women face.  In the spirit of Women’s Month, Cornerstone Institute has had the pleasure and privilege of hosting a series of workshops titled “Women and Leadership”.

The Women and Leadership series, which is designed for higher education staff but is transferrable to all industries and organisations, is led by Cornerstone Institute Human Resource Head Adeliah Jacobs.  This series, which started on the 8th of July and will conclude on the 19th of August, has invited Cornerstone staff to identify and discuss various elements of leadership, with a goal to empower themselves and each other to develop into the type of leaders they hope to be.

The series was open to all genders but focused on highlighting leadership insights from women in each instalment by centring them as keynote speakers in each session.

According to project head Adeliah Jacobs, the project focused on leadership development because “leadership does not only exist in the workplace, it exists in families, communities and even within the self”.

 

The first workshop of this series, titled “My Leading Style”, featured Cornerstone’s Deputy Dean, Dr Marianne Louw as the keynote speaker. The second instalment included an exploration of the concept of coaching with Head of Organizational Development and Transformation and Certified Reinvention Practitioner Roshon Omar. The third topic covered in this series was Leading in Change, featuring a talk by Certified Reinvention Practitioner and Training, Development and Business Consultant Tina Cupido.

Due to the multitude of issues women face in South Africa, it is easy to focus on problems instead of celebrating the value women bring to their communities. The women and leadership space has been a space for connection, empowerment and learning facilitated by women, centring women.

Although the workshops will end on the 19th of August, snippets from the series will be available on the Cornerstone Insitute Youtube channel.

The last Women and Leadership workshop, which will take place in Cornerstone Institute Auditorium at 11:30 AM on the 19th of August, will address the topic of  Vulnerability and Resilience. This workshop will feature Reinvention Practitioner, Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, Facilitator, Lecturer, and Management Consultant Jeanette Head and Head of Psychology at Cornerstone Institute, Geraldine Franciscus.

Cornerstone Institute staff, students and friends are invited to the final physical instalment of this series, which will continue to celebrate women while acknowledging the struggles that women face.

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