Business Management

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Inclusion With Upskilling

Mar 07, 2024 | By Jenna van Schoor
Group of businesswomen meeting in the office

International Women’s Day takes place on the 8th of March every year. 2024’s theme is “Inspiring Inclusion”. But what does inclusion mean? Many countries worldwide are working towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality.

At SACAP, we believe in empowering everyone, regardless of how you identify. But, in a country with gender equality issues, it’s relevant to talk about how upskilling women can help build a more constructive society.

Firstly, we’ll examine the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals and discuss how upskilling can help address them. We’ll also share how many of our SACAP Global courses can play a small role in helping to upskill women.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Achieving gender equality is the 5th of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that global signatories committed to achieving by 2030. 

With only six years to go, how close are we to achieving these goals? Unfortunately, some believe we have regressed due to economic pressures and the pandemic. If we take a look at South Africa in particular, the high rate of Gender Based Violence (GBV) is one indication that we are still a long way away from gender equality.

Geopolitical conflicts, climate change and economic instability also affect women and how they can contribute to their families and society. The reality is that women spend a lot of time and effort on unpaid work, such as child and family care, making it more challenging to earn money. 

To achieve the SDG goals, we need to ensure gender equality, but what does this mean?

What is gender equality?

Gender equality means that both men and women are treated equally in the eyes of the law. Regardless of gender, it means you will earn the same amount of money to do the same job and have all the same rights.

Many complex cultural and socio-economic factors influence how, when and where women can work. Overall, many women struggle with unemployment, in addition to having to support their families and navigate childcare, often with more than one child.

The UN’s concern is that economic instability and austerity measures will negatively affect women’s empowerment, as less money is available to invest in empowerment projects. In addition, post-pandemic poverty levels mean that women are struggling to support their families.

What is empowerment?

According to the World Bank, empowerment “is a process of change by which those who have been denied the ability to make strategic life choices acquire this ability.”

We may have made strides in many areas over the last century, but there is still work to do to ensure gender parity in the future. 

To empower women, we need to address three areas: agency, resources, and context. Agency means having self-efficacy and self-esteem, setting goals, and following through on achieving them. Resources refer to capital, assets, tools, and information to make decisions and achieve goals. Context means living in an environment that enables equitable decision-making, socially and institutionally.

By addressing these three pillars, we can ensure gender equality in practice, not just in theory.

How can upskilling help?

We all know that many socio-economic issues face us globally and that women are often responsible for supporting their families in a challenging economic climate. While educating ourselves about the reality of our world is essential, what can we do about it?

At SACAP, we are focusing on the following action points, described on the International Women’s Day website:

  • recruiting, retaining and developing female talent
  • supporting women and girls in leadership, decision-making, business and STEM
  • providing women and girls with access to quality education and training

We’ll now look at these points and talk about how SACAP Global short courses can help take action on these points.

Recruiting, retaining and developing female talent

SACAP is a predominantly female-run organisation, so our course development caters well to women looking to upskill and advance in their careers.

We offer an online short course on managing an effective talent management strategy, Recruiting & Retaining Top Talent, which applies to everyone, including women. 

Our wide range of course content also provides upskilling in several areas, from providing tools to support emotional wellbeing in Enhancing Mental Health and Employee Motivation and Wellness to courses on better understanding how to run a business, such as Intro to Business Environments.

Supporting women in leadership, decision-making, business and STEM

We offer short courses in leadership and coaching, including Intro to Management and Leadership, Intro to Coaching and Coaching Skills for Managers, which can empower women to step into managerial roles and inspire others to do the same.

Since women also play pivotal supportive roles in their communities, skills like counselling and communication can help develop and strengthen communities. Some of our courses in this area include Fundamental Counselling Skills and Advanced Interpersonal Communication.

Providing women and girls with access to quality education and training

Our team of experts develops online course content, which helps us offer accessible education to women looking to upskill and advance in their careers.

Regardless of how you identify, SACAP Global courses empower everyone with the skills to succeed in a changing and often challenging world. For more information, browse our course list.

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