The rare opportunity to get a glimpse into the working world of top businesswomen in Nelson Mandela Bay was afforded to 54 high school girls this week. The learners spent the morning following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela Bay’s leading female business women in the Businesswomen of Tomorrow work-shadow-day convened by the PE branch of the Businesswomen’s Association (BWA).
The learners were exposed to a wide variety of career options, including the fields of Law, Information Technology, Environmental Conservation, Accounting and Auditing, Safety and Security, Film Production as well as the Hospitality Industry.
Zahrah Benjamin, a Grade 11 learner from Victoria Park High School, said she was more inspired than ever to become a policewoman following her visit to Atlas Security. “We went for a tour of the business to the control room and the gym of the armed response officers. We got to feel what a bulletproof vest felt like and were handcuffed together as a demonstration,” said an excited Benjamin.
Saarah Amod, a Grade 11 learner from Alexander Road High School, visited The Boardwalk Hotel and Convention Centre where she was exposed to all the aspects of running the hotel. “When you walk into the foyer everything is so calm, but when you go behind the scenes you realise how busy they are. It was an eye opener, especially the kitchen where so many meals are cooked daily. I also loved to hear about all the famous people who stayed at the hotel,” Amod said.
For Sinovuyo Kalako, a Grade 12 learner from the Ubuntu Centre, the highlight of the day was when she went to the Port Elizabeth High Court with an attorney from BLC Attorneys. “We got to see the judge and how the court really works. It was a good experience to be exposed to the career I want to study and we got to make so many new friends today with some of the girls from the other schools,” Kalako said.
The girls, from various schools in the Metro, convened at Victoria Park High School before going to their different work shadow opportunities.
“The event is held annually during Women’s Month specifically to inspire and empower future women leaders in business, government and civil society,” said Michelle Brown, BWA PE Chairperson.
BWA members are asked to volunteer to host two or more girls for the duration of a school day.The learners then accompany the women to all their meetings and assignments for the day, getting first-hand experience of the job and learning from their hosts about the challenges on the way to success.