‘Men mustn’t feel threatened by gender equality’
Angela Sibanda, [email protected]
IN a world where women are slowly taking up leadership in male-dominated sectors, it is critical for society to adapt to such positive change and men must not feel threatened by a shift towards gender equality.
These are sentiments shared by prominent Bulawayo industrialist and chief executive officer for United Refineries Limited, Mr Busisa Moyo, who is also the board chairperson for the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
Speaking at a cocktail event hosted by Securico Security Services in the city last Friday, Mr Moyo, who was guest of honour said the modern world needs more women to assume top leadership in companies where they can compete at international platforms, as well as exhibit higher levels of excellence and delivery.
Securico is one of the thriving local companies established 25 years ago by a female entrepreneur, Dr Devine Simbi Ndhlukula who now employs over 4 000 workers.
Her company became the first private security service to advocate for the acceptance of female officers as security guards in Zimbabwe. Securico has a total of 900 female officers who are stationed in bigger spaces including banks all over the country.
“We need to get used to a world that is balanced as far as gender is concerned. Africa needs more successful brands that have women behind,” said Mr Moyo.
“The world is changing, and it’s good to embrace change. I am in the commodity space, and the people who influence my decision-making unit and buy the products are women most of the time,” he added.
“Women are still on 20 percent on boards globally, and in executive managing position they are on 25 percent. We are still very far and if as men, we feel threatened by these small percentages, what will we do if we get to 40 percent.”
The quest for gender equality is at the heart of sustainable domestic, regional and global development goals and is a key indicator of modern transformation.
Embracing and adapting to having more female players in the business sector is one of the key elements towards successful business growth, said the outspoken business executive.
He further reiterated the need for humility and integrity among leaders, saying these are critical virtues that promote a good working environment for all and ensures good service delivery for corporates.
“Humility is the culmination of business. There is nothing godlier than doing business with integrity. Unlike church and other social spaces where people can avoid sitting next to each other, business forces one to interact with people they despise and nothing could be more Christian than humbling oneself to someone they despise so much. You can never avoid humility in business,” said Mr Moyo.
“For a leader, the best ideas come from the workers. It doesn’t matter how achieved one is, it is important to interact and entertain ideas from employees. I sit in the workers’ committee, just to listen and I see that as a key component of business.”
He encouraged business leaders not to become resistant to inspiration from different sources. Instead, Mr Moyo said leaders should not be regarded as bosses but rather, as doors for an opportunity for one to learn and advance.
He described the business environment as a second chance to education as far as poverty eradication is concerned. From humble beginnings in rural Plumtree, Mr Moyo has distinguished himself, becoming one of the most influential individuals through business and education.
“Contrary to popular belief, I did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth, I grew up in rural areas of Matabeleland South in an area known as Tokwana.
“I herded cattle, climbed mountains and crossed flooded rivers. Despite that background, I started sitting on very important boards at the age of 26,” said Mr Moyo.
“Not because I was too clever, but because my heart was open to learning and serving. I treated my job as if the company was my own.
“For Africa, business is not a luxury, it is a must, and it is God’s mechanism for us to get out of poverty. Talking about potential will not change Africa, we need to put ideas into action,” he said.
“Business is the greatest thing after education, to take people out of poverty. Business and entrepreneurship have taken more people out of poverty than aid. It exists to solve problems, we must equip ourselves to solve our own challenge, challenges faced by women, men and the community at large,” said Mr Moyo.