Take a Girl Child to Work initiative empowers teens

2017-06-08 06:01

FIFTY young girls from Temple Valley Secondary, Academy of Learning and Leadership and Northlands Girls’ High had an opportunity to experience work environment at five offices as part of the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day on May 26.

The initiative is aimed at empowering and developing young teenage girls by exposing them to positive role models, career guidance and to the working world. This will expose them to a crucial and inspiring glance into their possible future careers.

Audit partner and head of transformation at BDO Bonita de Wet said in a statement: “Twenty five girls were selected by the schools who are a part of BDO’s Adopt-a-School programme and the other 25 girls were nominated by our staff. We asked all of our 800 staff to each put forward one grade 10 - 12 girl pupils to take part.

“This gave us the opportunity to uplift 25 girls from disadvantaged schools, who are aspiring future leaders.”

The initiative, which began in 2003, is an annual corporate social investment event that aims to empower young women and bridge the gender inequality gap by providing these youngsters with an early exposure to the various career opportunities available to them.

The girls were in Grades 10 to 12 and came from schools including BDO’s adopted schools, Temple Valley Secondary in Verulam (adopted by the Durban office), Realogile Secondary School and Newgate College (adopted by the Johannesburg office), Walmer Senior Secondary School (adopted by the Cape Town office) and FH Odendaal Secondary School (adopted by the Pretoria office).

The inspirational opening set the tone for the day. After being welcomed to the office by the BDO group CFO, Sam Dansie (in person in Johannesburg and via live streaming regionally) the girls were taken to the various departments within the organisation (auditing, accounting, advisory, shared services and tax departments), to experience first-hand the inner workings of the professional service firm.

They were assigned people of various levels in a department to sit with to gain insight of different roles within a department in order to understand a working and career cycle within the department. After gaining insights and learning as much as they could, the girls had an in-depth feedback presentation session, discussing with their peers what they had gleaned from the experience.

The day ended with a certificate handover ceremony where each girl was recognised for her participation.

“Today’s society is so marred with negative views on women and we still have a disparity between the way women are treated in the workplace.

“We hope through spending time with some of the women and men in our office these young girls will aspire for more than what society may make them believe they can achieve. We believe change can only happen when you show the youth how they should act and be treated, from responsible adults.” said De Wet. - Supplied.

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