Cableway’s Women in Tourism

South Africa commemorates Women's Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, in protest against the extension of pass laws to women. The government of South Africa declared August as Women's Month, and 9 August is celebrated annually as Women's Day.

Women's Month is an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on women's achievements, including those in the workplace. Apart from their traditional roles as mothers, wives and caregivers, statistics show that women are making great progress in business, politics, academic and economic careers, with more and more women reaching top positions.

In its second edition of its Global Report of Women in Tourism in 2019, UNWTO found that 54% of the tourism workforce globally is female. Technology has also been a major catalyst for empowerment, providing women with access to more training opportunities and stimulating female entrepreneurship through easier access to the tourism market.

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) supports the empowerment of women in the workplace and its team is made up of a number of dynamic and inspiring individuals. We asked four of these remarkable women at TMACC what Women’s Day means to them:

Tasneem Rajie, Executive Manager: Human Resources

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Tasneem Rajie

Why do you think we need to support women’s empowerment and gender equality, especially in the workplace?

Whilst the ‘woman-in-the-workplace equality’ movement has shifted in leaps and bounds, to the point that one has to ask whether this conversation is still relevant. There still seems to be an unspoken, deeply subconscious need for women to lead with their masculinity in the workplace in order to garner the same validity and serious attention that is typically afforded to our male counterparts.

Do you have any female leaders (local or international) that you admire? Why? 

All women are admirable in their own right. They may not be celebrities or acclaimed personalities, they are us – the everyday heroes who strive to make a difference.

What’s your Women’s Day message?

Given the current global crisis we find ourselves in, there has never been a better time than now for women to lead in the workplace with their feminine energy. People, organisations and the world need to heal. To heal, we need love and compassion. This is where women shine – these are the gifts we bring to this world. I believe now in particular, we are called upon to be courageous. Let’s stop dimming our lights. Let’s embrace our gifts and realise the value that they bring to the workplace. The world needs us!

Marie Abraham, Environmental Control Officer

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Marie Abraham

Why do you think we need to support women’s empowerment and gender equality, especially in the workplace?

I think women have as much to give in the workplace as men do. Women often have a different view on things, putting problems and issues at the workplace into a different perspective. By empowering women, this has a positive effect on her family and community, too. It is important to me to show my daughters that a woman can be a mother and have a successful career.

Do you have any female leaders (local or international) whom you admire? Why? 

I have two. Mother Teresa, for her absolute compassion towards humanity, and committing her life to the upliftment and improvement of others’ lives. 

I also admire Jacinda Ardern – the prime minister of New Zealand. She has shown that working mothers can attain everything they aspire to if they put their minds to it. 

What’s your Women’s Day message?

As mothers, sisters, wives and friends we need to stand together and support each other, especially during this difficult time we are faced with.  

Giselle Esau, Executive Manager: Brand

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Giselle Esau

Why do you think we need to support women’s empowerment and gender equality, especially in the workplace?

As women, we work as hard as men. But I believe that we have to work harder to make sure that our voices are heard. Women deserve equal remuneration and respect.

Do you have any female leaders (local or international) whom you admire? Why?

Michelle Obama, who said “When they go low, we go high.” This quote inspires me to always treat people with respect and to take the high road. It reminds me to continue to grow with patience and to lead with love whenever possible.

What’s your Women’s Day message?

Keep fighting, never remain silent in the face of adversity or inequality, and remember who you are and what you deserve.

Thembela Nqonji, Front of House Supervisor: Food and Beverage

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Thembela Nqonji

Why do you think we need to support women’s empowerment and gender equality, especially in the workplace?

Women are as capable of doing as much work as men. We see more and more women championing industries in South Africa, contributing to the economy and taking up leadership positions. However, we still have a long way to go and that’s why we need to support women in any way possible.

Do you have any female leaders (local or international) whom you admire? Why?

I have quite a few, but one of the many female leaders I respect and admire is Basetsana Khumalo. Not only is she a television personality, but also a remarkable businesswoman and philanthropist.

What’s your Women’s Day message?

Women, don’t sell yourself short. You can tap into any industry, take up space and make a difference.

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