Women in Business
August shines as a month dedicated to Women everywhere. The light falls on abuse; on power; instinct and inspiration. Of particular interest is Women in business as it becomes more and more common to see Women in such unusual workplaces as hydraulics, construction, aircraft pilots, service stations, politics, and more.
Being a woman, I am not particularly a 'fan' of the word "empower", because it sounds like one actually gives power to someone who never had it before. For governments to initiate drives to 'empower woman' don't sit well with me at all, because those women who have the inner strength, the desire, the goal to make it big in business ('the Man's World'), are already powerful and will most likely be successful, and those women that don't have that goal, but are so-called 'empowered' will fail miserably (and so will her male counterpart).
Women are traditionally seen as homemakers; keeping family members together in harmony, the one who listens and understands. It is therefore not surprising that some of South Africa's most successful real estate companies were started by women as far back as the fifties, sixties and seventies - many years before the word 'empower' was dandled about as the thing to be done for women.
As recently as 2008 the real estate agent was stereotyped as the bored housewife, unqualified for any 'proper career'. The Amendment to the Estate Agency Affairs Act requires that agents undergo an internship period of a year, a minimum educational requirement as entry-level, formal competency examinations and on-going professional development. Suddenly the light went on for youngsters and men to flock to the real estate profession as it became a career of choice, and they were not ashamed to be mentored, coached, trained, and yes(!) empowered by the previously disadvantaged and 'unqualified' female Property Professionals.
Thesaurus gives the meaning of empowering as "authorise, allow, sanction, permit, endow, enable"! To all Women out there: Don't wait to be empowered! I implore you to reach within and find your own inner power and hunt down those goals lying beneath the surface, and fly!
Author: Adrie Barnard