Boardwalk are pioneers of female leadership

2015-09-02 06:00
Formerly known for being a male-dominated industry, The Boardwalk are shifting gears with a successful 50% equal split between men and women in management positions. 
Pictured is IT manager Angela Rogers.
          Photo:SUPPLIED

Formerly known for being a male-dominated industry, The Boardwalk are shifting gears with a successful 50% equal split between men and women in management positions. Pictured is IT manager Angela Rogers. Photo:SUPPLIED

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FORMERLY known for being a traditionally male-dominated industry, The Boardwalk are shifting gears with a successful 50% equal split between men and women in management positions.

General Manager of The Boardwalk, Brett Hoppe, said they are proud to have women holding some of the most powerful portfolios across the enterprise, including finance and information technology which have typically been male-dominated functions.

“Our exco boasts six women in key positions including Ayanda Kgwathe, who we believe is one of the few black women to be appointed as general manager of a five-star hotel in South Africa,” he added.

One of the leading ladies at The Boardwalk is IT manager Angela Rogers, who said she is pleased to see that the number of women in the IT industry has grown.

“ I think the worst initially was that I would often go to functions and talks and be the only woman there. Fortunately, I am used to being around men, but I think for them at times they were anxious to start a conversation at first.”

Originally from Johannesburg Rogers joined Sun International at The Mmabatho Sun. “I was based in Port Alfred and worked from the Fish River Sun. Here I looked after some of the units in the Eastern Cape before they closed down in 1999.

“I then started helping where I could with the project for The Boardwalk. In 2000 I travelled up and down the coast until I moved to Port Elizabeth to be based at The Boardwalk in June. I have been the IT Manager since December 2009,” she said.

Rogers said one of the problems in the Casino and Hotel industry is that there are seldom any women that apply for positions in the industry.

“I do believe we need more women in IT and especially in the Eastern Cape. When we have vacancies there are seldom any women that apply and we need to look really hard country wide to find ladies in support. We do try to ensure that we have a good split in the department and try to look for women too,” she added.

Rogers stands side by side with other leading ladies at the Boardwalk who have broken barriers in a male-dominated industry. Among them is Chairperson of Emfuleni Resorts Bongi Siwisa, Director of the Emfuleni Resorts Nominise Gogo, Manager at The Boardwalk Hotel Ayanda Kgwathe, and Marketing Manager at The Boardwalk Nqobile Majozi.

Hope said though the empowerment of women has made great strides in the last decade, South Africa still grapples with women inequity issues far greater than those faced in other similarly globally competitive countries.

“Companies must have policies to ensure that women are recruited, retained and advanced to leadership. Programmes must be implemented to identify and nurture women for leadership roles and managers must be held accountable for promoting women,” added Hope.

Rogers said this can also be achieved by women in IT through hard work. “Even though it is seen as an ‘office job’ it is far from boring and every day is different – therefore depending on your approach you can learn new things virtually daily. Also always be open to change as this industry is always changing.”

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