Women have been at the forefront of changing the narrative in spaces that were and are dominated by men. Through real and relatable role models, young girls are influenced to know that there is a chance for them to be part of this ever-evolving and growing society. With each innovation comes a team that is not only inclusive of women but also allows them to lead. How do we maintain this momentum? Is it enough, and are we ready for the radical shift in industries and sectors? Let’s take a look at how the gender gap can be bridged in industries and sectors – public and private, to promote an equal and inclusive world with leaders of every gender.
The Digital Era Needs Us All
Consider coding, engineering, medicine, art, travel, and so much more evolving before us with leadership inspired by women, for women. As the need to keep women and girls safe arises in African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Somalia, there are ample opportunities to have and teach women and girls to be part of these industries. Gender equality and women empowerment aren’t just fundamental human rights; they also form an important part of a prosperous modern-day economy. With small businesses growing, the number of female entrepreneurs is also growing.
Doing It Themselves
The world is shifting into a full-on digital era that constantly requires us to better ourselves, businesses and services we provide. With this shift, there is a need for more businesses to live online in order to be accessible to consumers. This presents a multitude of opportunities for women. From female entrepreneurs upgrading their businesses by investing in online learning and marketing to the IT industry needing more and more people to be able to satiate the need for resources in industries – the ripple effect brings hope for a better future.
Closing The Gap
The most important thing about bridging the gap in terms of gender equality is education, both formal and informal. It is important that while we educate girls on technology and the opportunities that exist for them, we also expose them to knowing and understanding that their gender does not mean they are bound to perform domestic roles as a way of living. Most young girls in rural and underdeveloped areas grow up in a society that prepares them for things such as marriage, child-bearing and other domestic chores. This narrative needs to be changed and shifted, and every sector is needed to make this dream come true.
Stepping Into Our Role
We fully understand that gender mainstreaming is an idea that needs everyone to participate and use their own resources, capabilities and influence to create a more equal world. As a development finance institution, DBSA is committed to helping shape a world where both men and women gain access to equal opportunities. We have Gender Mainstreaming programmes and projects that support women-led businesses as small businesses start to occupy a considerable amount of space in the economy. Having and supporting women leaders benefits us all.
The digital world is opening up and offering more people a seat at the table, more so women. It is paramount that we continue to shine a light on the importance of gender mainstreaming across all sectors and allow more women and girls to take the lead. It is clearly evident that they can.