. celebrating its Leading Ladies
As Women’s Month comes to a close, MultiChoice Botswana reflects on the women that play a significant role in running some of the company’s most critical functions.
An organization that prides itself on being culturally diverse and particularly dedicated to ensuring that there is a healthy gender balance in leadership, this year’s Women’s Day theme, #BreaktheBias, is a movement that is rightfully aligned with the current status quo at MultiChoice Botswana.
“The information technology sector is one that has often been characterized as male-dominant and because of the technical background that operating in this space requires, it’s been very common for many of the industry’s leadership positions to be held by men,” says Lorato Mwape, MultiChoice Botswana’s Managing Director. “As a woman, it makes me extremely proud to be running an operation that has strong women not only in its leadership team but also in Junior Management roles and even more importantly, in our network of installers and agents who are also a part of the MultiChoice Botswana family.”
Every year, MultiChoice Botswana celebrates its Leading Ladies by spotlighting female colleagues fulfilling stereotypically male-dominated roles. This year they celebrated Kegalale Manyiwa, Branch Manager of the MultiChoice Botswana Maun Branch, Olebogeng Magamole, Branch Manager of the Francistown Branch and Letsweletse Molosiwa, Quality Assurance Specialist. The purpose of this spotlight is to inspire and remind others that anything is achievable regardless of gender, race, or any other circumstance, for as long as you work hard.
At the Maun Branch, Kegalale is responsible for resolving issues faced by both staff and customers on a daily basis and working with her team to reach a common business goal. Running a small team of 4, Kegalale fiercely leads her team in conquering everyday customer issues, a space she believes women naturally excel in. “By nature, women typically lead with patience, empathy and have good listening skills. I have learnt that this is what makes an impactful leader; one with the ability to influence change,” says Kegalale.
Speaking on the #BreaktheBias theme, Kegalale added how essential it is for women to play their part in stepping up to eradicate stereotypes set by society in the workplace, “It goes without saying that we live in a world where women are often tasked with single-handedly raising strong and responsible citizens, whether it be at home, or at their places of work. I’m a proud employee of a company where our Africa CEO and country MD roles are both held by women. Everyday this is a reminder of the responsibility I have to lead and to #BreaktheBias for those women who follow behind me.”
In Francistown, Olebogeng fulfils a similar role to that of Kegalale, running day-to-day essential duties in the branch, resolving any employee issues, and keeping a positive team culture. She believes that although men are generally expected to be strong and bold, times have changed and women are now equally as strong. MultiChoice Botswana boasts this point by having all branches run by women.
“Though, as a business, MultiChoice is a stellar example of how breaking the bias benefits the greater group, it still rings true that the stereotypes still exist and this hampers some women from moving ahead in their careers,” says Olebogeng. “I believe every one of us, men included, need to step up to the challenge and assist in bringing on change so that we see more women in positions of influence. Balance is always better.”
Lastly, Letsweletse Mokgadi’s role is to ensure that all team members perform in such a way that benefits the customer, all the time. Letsweletse believes that she works in a role that is generally male-dominated because it requires a sense of toughness, a leadership style typically attributed to men, “Most of my counterparts are males because there will always be the belief that in a role where you are required to make sure the job gets done with a proverbial iron fist, men will outperform women,” says Letsweletse. MultiChoice, however, chose to look past this and appoint Letsweletse, the quintessential personification of ‘dynamite comes in small packages,’ who has outperformed herself in this role and shown the impact of ‘breaking the bias.’
“It’s not always easy having to do your job while at the same time dealing with assumptions that come when you are a female in a male-dominated role, however I have overcome these challenges by telling myself that focusing on the task at hand and reminding myself that if I do not speak up, things will not get done in the way they are meant to be done.”
Mwape leads an Executive Committee with a majority female headcount which she confirms was not intentional but testament to the calibre of female talent in Botswana. “It goes without saying that the landscape of leadership and gender diversity in Botswana has changed for the better. I can only hope that this sets the tone for future generations so that we see a more balanced workforce and country leadership, where our daughters can also strive for positions that their male colleagues strive for as well.”
As we come to the end of Women’s Month, we are reminded that #BreakTheBias imagines a gender-equal world, free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A vision of a better world for the next generation of women. All of MultiChoice Botswana’s Leading Ladies exemplify how a team led by women can achieve great things if given the chance.