Senior female civil servants and their colleagues from parastatals gathered at a local hotel in Gaborone on Tuesday to offer advice, anecdotes and words of encouragement to other aspiring women as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.
The women, who were immaculately dressed and mostly in leteisi turned up in numbers at the event, which was the inaugural Executive Breakfast for Leading Women in the Botswana Public Service and Parastatal Organisations.
The morning represented a chance for the outstanding women who have dedicated themselves to public service to share their journey and also to generally have a good time away from their usual bases.
Notable attendees included, Minister of Health, Dorcus Makgato, Ombudsman Festina Bakwena, Director of Public Service Management – Ruth Maphorisa and District Commissioner to Maun – Chabongwa Matseka amongst others.
In her welcome remarks Maphorisa urged women to support one another for continued success.
“Women in Botswana Public Service constitute 53% in total and those in the executive leadership account for 40%. The attainment of 50/50 target largely depends on the women in this hall. As they say – If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
The keynote address, delivered by Minister of Health, Dorcus Makgato, was one of many anecdotes that galvanized the woman present.
She spoke of previous plights that had affected her and how she had come to persevere against the odds.
“Leadership will never be a walk in the park. Women should inspire each other. The floor that you have reached is the foundation of another. We deserve to be recognized and celebrated. In order to be successful, sometimes you need a little arrogance – we have bragging rights,” she said amidst a big round of applause.
Next on the podium was Tsetsele Fantan, a human resources consultant at Headway Consultancy, who spoke of characteristics of a leader, 21st century challenges , why women make better bosses, the ingredients of great leadership and a myriad of other topics related to women in the workplace.