ANDILE KHUMALO: Trying to place ourselves in women’s shoes is worth the effort

11 August 2019 - 00:08 By Andile Khumalo

This week I accepted a rather daunting invitation to participate in a dialogue on the gender distribution of wealth and power at the inaugural W-Suite Summit, a platform that seeks to elevate the conversation about breaking barriers in the world of business for women to thrive. Me and my big mouth convinced its founder, Katie Mohamed, that she should include a panel discussion with men on it to explore the role of men in the quest to empower more women, especially in the workplace. That earned me; Greg Maloka, MD of Kaya FM; Dave Tiltmann, CEO of African Media Entertainment; and the seasoned radio broadcaster and founder of Champion South Africa, Ashraf Garda, an invite to a panel led by Iman Rappetti in a roomful of very, and I mean very, powerful businesswomen and executives.

It was the general consensus among all the guys that this was by far one of the most difficult speaking engagements we had taken on. I think that for the first time ever I got a taste of what it must feel like for white people to opine on their role in the empowerment of black people. There you are, happy to share your thoughts, but you are so unqualified to do so. And, to make it worse, you are speaking to women a thousand times more qualified than you. So I thought I should share some of the lessons I learnt in the pressure cooker, and perhaps my fellow brothers could learn a thing or two...

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