Editor's Note

Women make the world go around

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Welcome to another edition of South Africa’s favourite business-to-business monthly, as we celebrate the tireless work and dedication shown by women, who often have to traverse a fine balancing act between achieving business success versus the many hours needed to raise a family successfully.

As a father of three, raising children is arguably the most difficult job in the world. It is also unpaid work with many challenges that can put a tremendous amount of pressure on the most stable marriage or relationship.

Often, women who have leadership ambitions will put off having children or have them later as they are perceived by male colleagues in the workplace to be bad for business because it requires time off work.

Corporate society needs to look further than just the bottom line and understand that women can lead and also take time off to nurture the next generation, and secure our survival. Without childbirth, there would be no next generation. Some forward-thinking companies take this into account and provide a baby room/creche at work, so you can bring your child to work—a revolutionary idea.

Sadly, many women have to go back to work far too early, after just two weeks, leaving the child with a nanny or, even worse, at a creche. Such a young baby needs their mother and one could argue that emotional trauma is caused when a child and mother are separated too early.

You are now finding in countries like Denmark—with a below-average birth rate—that their government is encouraging families to have more children by providing state funding for the parents. They also offer lengthy maternity and paternity leave, giving parents the quality time needed to nurture their offspring.

This initiative is largely driven by their negative birth rate and declining population, but I’m yet to hear of a country with decent weather having this problem. It would appear that cold weather is not conducive to romance.

In South Africa, we have the opposite problem of a population explosion, which has put a tremendous strain on our schooling system, job market and healthcare services, for example. And as our cities grow beyond a sustainable level, take Cape Town, for example, with the recent drought, a need for de-urbanisation is vital.

In the modern, technologically advanced world we live in; more jobs can be performed remotely or from home due to the connectivity that the Internet provides. Instead of trying to squeeze people into overcrowded cities with limited resources, would it not be better to incentivise living in our vast rural areas?

So as we celebrate Women’s Month, I’d like to acknowledge the tireless work done by the women of Leadership magazine. From the Sub-Editor, Monique Jacobs, and the Client Liaison Officer, Lizel Olivier, to Lee-Ann Lawrence in distribution, Project Manager, Madeleine Jansen, and her all-star sales team, which includes Funeka Zandani, Lorna Mngxunya, Charmaine Meyer and Cassia Passetti.

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