It is often wondered how women who seemingly “have it all” are able to balance their social and professional lives without having one or both suffer under the pressure these women endure daily. The laws that govern how women work, globally, are changing at snail pace. On the second edition of the JCI ODN Webinars, the newly established all-female virtual chapter under the South African JCI national organisation hosted the National President of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR), Ms Erika Broadwater and Senior Vice President of Operations and Logistics at NAAAHR, Ms Michelle Brewer. With both speakers being well versed in the issues of Human Resources and employment conditions, the webinar sought to unpack how working conditions can be better adapted for women to be encouraged and enabled to build successful lives in and out of the office.

The first speaker, Ms Michelle Brewer shared the following points in efforts to help women live a more balanced life:

  1. Always remember to pray and/or meditate at the beginning of your day.
  2. Set your schedule for the week according to your goals.
  3. Practice being present and stay focused.
  4. Find accountability partners (mentors and advisors).
  5. Have fun and celebrate your milestones along the way.

This, she reckons, requires weekly goals that one can divide into the days of the week and the hours in each. One other key learning from Ms Brewer’s address is that all things boil down to how one prioritises and divide their work. Moreover, one needs to be certain on what is of immediate importance vs. what can be achieved later. Lastly, she encourages women to do at least one relaxing exercise a week. This could be painting your nails, enjoying a glass of your favourite drink or reading for leisure.

NAAAHR National President, Lady Erika Broadwater spoke under the topic “Creating a More Just Workplace”. Her address was focused on the following key points:

  1. Organizational culture influences diversity of talent
  2. Tips for organizations to limit bias
  3. Human resources policies on diversity, equity and inclusion
  4. Five HR strategies to transition into a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.
    1. Conduct a cultural assessment
    2. Establish workplace values and norms
    3. Review recruitment, selection, advancement and exit process
    4. Develop policy and review with employees
    5. Monitor, reward and hold employees accountable

In her address, Lady Erika Broadwater emphasised the structural preparation necessary for organisations to support their female employees. Moreover, she notes the need for organisations to promote a culture of training stuff members as an important support function for managers as leaders need cooperation from their teams in order to execute their goals and deliver.

Watch the whole webinar here for more tips and information on both speaker’s address and how both the laws that govern how women work and personal growth can help women balance their professional and personal lives. Whether it is age, gender or race, no discriminatory grounds can be used to qualify or disqualify women from any positions. Moreover, women have shown competence and continue to strive and succeed in spite of the odds that are stacked up against them. However, these illegal practices need to come to an end by creating more just spaces for professional women.  

For more information on JCI Oudtshoorn, click here. The NAAAHR can be reached through this link.

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