2017 marks the 15th year that Cell C has successfully taken the lead in empowering young women by exposing them to real workplace experiences in preparation for a brighter future.
This year’s Cell C Take A Girl Child To Work Day initiative will be celebrated on the 25th of May 2017. Cell C launched the 2017 campaign on 06 April 2017 with the honourable Ms Susan Shabangu, Minister of women in the Presidency and this year’s goodwill ambassador and spokesperson for the campaign, Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
Over the years Cell C’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day has become a well-respected movement that affords grade 10-12 girl learners, from all walks of life, the chance to experience a day in the workplace first-hand and a glimpse at the possibilities available to them.
For many, the day spent in the working world shadowing top executives and entrepreneurs opens up a world of hope and dreams. It inspires girls to work hard to achieve what they want to attain in life and contributes towards making their dreams tangible.
Cell C first introduced the campaign to the South African business and government community on 08 May 2003, and in 2016 more than 700 corporates volunteered to host around 50 000 school girls across South Africa.
Cell C has invested 15 years in the commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women through education. The Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day initiative has been voted as one of the country’s “single largest collaborative acts of volunteerism” by Brands and Branding South Africa.
“Cell C is dedicated to the development and empowerment of young people both inside and outside the company and we are committed to encouraging the youth to achieve their full potential,” said Suzette van der Merwe, Managing Executive of the Cell C Foundation.
Since its launch, the company has developed and implemented various successful programmes aimed at encouraging women to achieve their full potential. Backed by the goodwill of the South African business community and Government Cell C has assisted in preparing thousands of young women for a brighter future.
The Cell C Girl Child Bursary Fund affords South African companies and the general public to contribute towards the tertiary education and training for qualifying girls from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Says van der Merwe: “We firmly believe that offering bursaries provides a long term investment in achieving the goal of empowering women and youth in South Africa. Cell C fully supports women and youth empowerment initiatives and recognises the valuable contributions women are making to the organisation as well as the country.
One of the programme’s 2004 alumni Mulalo Nekhumbe, for example, who spent her day at auditors Ernst and Young. Today she is an investment banker working in mergers and the acquisitions of companies.
Another Alumni, Thabang Masanabo is currently the founder of Thape Media, a television and film production company. She is also a freelance news anchor for eNCA. She participated in the programme in 2004 and 2005.
She added that the goal of the initiative was to deepen the thinking of young women with regard to their infinite roles in society.
Not only does Take a Girl Child to Work Day give young women a chance to see how they can fulfil their hopes and dreams; it also gives women in positions of power a chance to mentor the young women.
Since the beginning, the girls have been taken under the wing of and mentored by, women like the office of the Public Protector, Ministers dealing with the welfare of women and children, top businesswomen, women in the media and South Africa’s top sportswomen.