Cell C is urging corporate South Africa to get on board its Take a Girl Child to Work initiatives.
The project is one of South Africa’s largest collaborative acts of volunteerism, with more than 550 organisations to host girl learners aged 13-18 in their workplace over three days this year.
“We are looking for even more organisations to participate in this initiative, which has throughout its 16 year history developed some top female talent for workplaces around the country,” says Cell C managing executive of corporate social responsibility, Suzette van der Merwe.
In its 17th year, the effort has impacted the lives of more than a 1,2-million girls. The 2019 programme will focus on personal development and include skills training. Cell C will be providing corporates with a toolkit and themed presentations.
A breakdown of the registrations so far by sector of the economy, tells an interesting story. Government departments are the leading supporter of the initiative accounting for just over a quarter of all registrations, followed by 16% in the education sector and 8% in the telecommunication, transport and law sectors, respectively. While industries which young women generally struggle to get into, such as engineering, architecture and IT, each account for only 1% of current registrations.
Cell C’s annual Take a Girl Child to Work initiative seeks to encourage corporates in South Africa to empower and provide guidance to girls on career development. This year’s theme #MoreThanADay promotes the concept that one day is not enough to help motivate and inspire school-going girls and Cell C has therefore dedicated three days in the year to this effort – 30 May, 26 July and 30 August.
“We want to encourage South African business, especially those in specialised areas like engineering and IT, to really step up and provide a platform for these young female learners to experience a diverse range of careers. Gender equality is critical to driving the future of South Africa’s economic growth and more than ever we need companies and entrepreneurs to help shape women leaders of the future,” says van der Merwe.
According to global research conducted by the International Monetary Fund, closing the gender gap within business can have a dramatic impact on the economy. Its research shows that “among countries where gaps in participation rates are the largest, closing them adds 355 to GDP, on average”.
The Take a Girl Child to Work initiative is about developing a meaningful and sustainable way to bring these girls face-to-face with their own potential and provide them with the support to pursue their dream careers.
To make an even more meaningful impact, Cell C has also launched its www.cellcgirl.co.za platform, which is available to high school learners who are unable to attend the programme at a host company. Both male and female learners can utilise it. This interactive, digital and social media platform was launched last year and is a holistic information portal that provides responsive online support, focusing on educational, economic and employment resources. It also includes links to bursaries and internships, and acts as a forum for advice, CV-creation and career guidance. The portal is zero-rated for Cell C customers.
Companies can register for the 2019 Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work via www.cellcgirlchild.co.za.