FEAR of taking business risks and claiming top positions in the media, politics, economics and other influential sectors has caused women to remain locked outside the mainstream economy as compared to their male counterparts, a South African motivational speaker has said.
Women in News (WIN) coach and Fray Intermedia (South Africa) managing director Paula Fray made the remarks last Friday while addressing female journalists from Zimbabwe and Malawi who were attending a mentoring workshop in Harare.
Fray said it was imperative for women to take up opportunities that arise in different sectors as equal partners.
“Studies have shown that a man would apply for a job when they have half of the things that are required in terms of qualifications, whereas women might have more than half of the qualifications, but because they do not have one or two things they refrain from applying thus disadvantaging themselves,” Fray said.
“Women are also afraid to take business risks and while men would take loans and risks in order to make their businesses grow, most women are afraid to take loans and big risks, and men are normally at the forefront of reaching out for opportunities than women are.”
Fray said it was therefore imperative for women to assert themselves and utilise networking skills to make them more visible in business, newsrooms or politics.
WIN programme director Norah Spie at the same event also said: “We know there is sexual harassment and gender imbalance in the media, but female journalists have to now move forward and sharpen their skills to ensure they get positions of authority in newsrooms.
“Zimbabwe is a signatory of international gender protocols and there is need for implementation of what is envisaged by those protocols even in newsrooms.”
WIN national coach Susan Makore said it was important for women to be passionate about their work in newsrooms and ensure they were able to balance work and family responsibilities. Reuters’ Harare bureau chief Cris Chinaka said in order for women to grow in their careers, they needed to be focused, build their names, and develop mental strength.