In commemoration of women’s month in South Africa, a host of woman business professionals, academics and leaders participated in the “Women in Business” conference on August 4. The conference, organised by the Wits Students Business Society (WSBS) attracted a large audience of both male and female
Notable speakers were Wits’ Vice Principal of Research and Innovation Prof Mamokgethi Setati, African Fashion International’s (AFI) Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe and entrepreneurs Dr Kerrin Myres and Edith Venter.
First year Computational and Applied Mathematics student and WSBS vice- chairperson, Kelebogile Sephoti said the event’s “aim was to inspire, connect and bridge the gap between the working class and the students who wish to follow in the footsteps of those who have already made it”.
The conference attempted to showcase the achievements of exceptional women whilst celebrating Even though business and academics dominated the discussions speakers also touched on subjects like philanthropy, sisterhood and leadership.
Founder of GirlPower, an initiative aimed at showing the opportunities available in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to young girls, Professor Setati engaged with the audience on matters of changing the society’s view about what the girl-child can and cannot do.
Setati also stressed the need for women to celebrate themselves in order to change the stereotypes and gender–schemas, sex-linked characteristics that are maintained and transmitted to other members of a culture, placed on them by society and their families.
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, a huge attraction to the participants in the conference was not able to attend in person and instead gave a speech via a recording. In the presentation, she spoke of her passion for the business of fashion and the woman as a humanitarian.
Representing AFI, Global Brand & Marketing Manager, Allana Finley encouraged students not to “pass up any opportunities that present themselves to you” as she related how she got to work for and with Dr Moloi-Motsepe.
Well-known South African socialite and event organiser, Edith Venter stressed the importance of peer-support among women in business and emphasised that “passion is vital” for any projects undertaken.