Of the unemployed and disabled learners working at leading supplier Bearings International (BI), 70% are African female. “This is indicative of the efforts we make at BI to drive the diversity agenda. We are proud to see our female talent grow and take charge. You should see the ladies in action,” says Head of HR Colleen Daniels. This is in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March. The IWD 2022 campaign theme is #BreakTheBias: Imagine a gender equal world.
Daniels’ role is to partner with the organisation in driving a holistic people experience to support its business strategy. She adds that during her tenure, BI has made significant progress, especially in the arena of young female talent both in the support and sales environment. “Empowerment, just like diversity, is a broad term. For us, it is an action-orientated term that we seek to exercise every day.”
She urges that companies be open to the diversity and value that women can create in the workplace. “That is what any person or employee wants: To feel valued. I really hope that we can move on from a time where being a woman and in the boardroom or at a morning meeting is a struggle to be recognised as a partner who contributes towards the success of the organisation.”
In terms of Colleen’s advice to young women just starting out on their career path, especially in traditionally male-dominated industries, she acknowledges it remains a challenge. “Be aware of it, but do not let it define you. Find your passion, work hard, walk confidently, and never miss an opportunity to learn from those around you. Very importantly, learn from others. We are all working towards valuing diversity.”
Colleen concludes, “Personally, being a mother is most probably the most important part of my life and I savour every minute of it. I am unapologetically women and loving it. It is my superpower!”