The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) in collaboration with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and Wits Business School hosted a “Women Leading Knowledge” breakfast on Tuesday 29 August 2023.
“The Gautrain Management Agency prides itself in championing knowledge initiatives and this is one of our thought leadership knowledge share platforms. This event is a celebration of the pivotal role of women leading knowledge,” said GMA Board Deputy Chairperson, Ms Lungile Mtiya, who opened the proceedings. She added that the vision of this collaborative platform is to ignite tales of women reshaping the narrative of knowledge stewardship in the corporate world.
This networking morning of power, prestige and sisterhood was enjoyed by over 70 guests, with a keynote address by Dr Judy Dlamini being one of the many highlights from the event. She shared her personal insights and experiences that have shaped her journey in the world of entrepreneurship, corporate and academia.
Dr Dlamini said that while women may be united by exclusion, we need to be bold and not be afraid of failure, as failure is a lesson in itself. “Growth and comfort do not co-exist,” she said.
She also emphasised that it was time for young women to embrace leadership roles.
Dr Dlamini herself founded the Female Academic Leaders Fellowship NPC (FALF) which seeks to develop a pipeline of South African, African and Africans of mixed ancestry female academic leaders in tertiary institutions. A medical and academic doctor, businesswoman, author, and philanthropist, Dr Dlamini is also the Founder and Executive Chairman of Mbekani Group, which has been in business for 25 years.
This “Women Leading Knowledge” platform is part of the GMA Knowledge Management vision of developing the GMA into a learning organisation and to establish partnerships with academia.
“Knowledge management stands at the crossroads of innovation, collaboration, and organisational efficiency. Historically, women’s roles in societies have been deeply intertwined with preserving culture, transferring knowledge, and fostering community connections, said Ms Viwe Mgedezi who has been Executive Manager, Knowledge Management at Gautrain Management Agency for over six years. “This event reinforced that women play a crucial role in the sphere of knowledge management today”.
Guests were also treated to a panel discussion featuring Dr Michele Ruiters, Senior Faculty at GIBS. Dr Ruiters has done extensive work in Gender Mainstreaming and Women in Transport Infrastructure, and has taught at universities in South Africa, the US and Japan. She was joined by MS London CEO & Founder Ego Iwegbu who shared lessons learned in her entrepreneur journey and emphasised the importance of ensuring that business owners share their knowledge with their teams to avoid costly mistakes and build collective knowledge. The third panellist includes Dr Jabulile Msimango-Galawe, who is an entrepreneur, business and leadership coach, mentor, facilitator, public speaker, researcher and senior lecturer at Wits University.
These firsthand accounts from trailblazing women reinforced the importance of knowledge preservation and application, and gave guests unique insights into the strategies adopted by these women when it comes to leveraging knowledge, sparking innovation, and driving organizational efficiency.