Ladies, are you ready for the women's dinner?

CHRO SA and CFO SA to host powerful women and their mentees on August 1.

With August being women’s month, CHRO SA and brother company CFO SA will jointly be hosting a dinner on the first day of the month, which will be exclusively for the country’s top females executives in the HR and finance professions and their mentees.

The focus will be on corporate South Africa’s struggle with female advancement as successful females and their mentees share their stories and insights about the challenges that come with being a successful businesswoman as well as a wife, partner and/or mother. 

Attendees will discuss their worries and fears about the impact their careers has had on the people closest to them. They will also hear from top executives like Cebile Xulu CHRO of Mondelez, Debbie Ransby Executive Coach, Connected Coaching, Eliza Mkhize CFO of Clinix and Rivasha Maharaj CFO of Afgri Group, about how they have managed to create a work-life blend. Meanwhile, renowned author and leading lifestyle practitioner Lori Milner from Beyond the Dress will also discuss how to overcome the challenges of being a working wonderwoman.

CFO SA community manager John Deane says, he is looking forward to learning more about how powerful women face their challenges.

“I’ll probably be feeling a little out of place, given that I’ll be one of the only men in attendance. Jokes aside, I think it is really important to have to these kinds of discussions, not only for the value it will have for the women for whom these are real issues but I’m expecting it to be an eye-opening experience for myself as well. We all work with accomplished women who have a lot more on their plate when it comes to achieving a work-life balance than men do and I think we need to be more mindful of that,” says John.

Last year’s dinner was a celebration of women in the workplace whereby, in addition to the five-star cuisine, women shared ideas and get to know each other while exploring how best they can advance the progress of women in the workplace. 

The conversation, which was led by Inge Walters, the founder of Eve Learning, centred around improvements that could be made towards having more female representation at senior and executive levels of business. 

"In Africa, five percent of CEOs are women, 29 percent of senior managers are women and 36 percent of promotions go to women. It is slightly better than where we were 10 years ago but if we want to see real gender equity, that rate of change is simply not good enough," said Inge.

Meanwhile, AngloGold Ashanti CFO Christine Ramos said she felt women needed to do more for one another, explaining how it had mostly been men that were sponsors and mentors throughout her career. 

Barloworld Group Executive for Human Capital, Audit and Corporate Affairs Tantaswa Fubu also said that a large part of empowering women was about connecting them with people who believe in them. And all women were in agreement that they needed to have someone in their corner who could encourage them in moments of self-doubt and fight for them when they are facing challenges too big to tackle on their own. They needed to find and be sponsors. These are people who are willing to make a concerted effort to help open the doors for someone they believe has potential. 

This women’s dinner promises to just as insightful and is a must-attended for those who have a keen interest in the advancement of women in business.