Two academics from MANCOSA will join more than 60 women leaders from South Africa and other African countries in discussions to shape the conversation for women in business at the annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards and Conference.
While the awards will recognise leaders who have played an active role in changing the role of women in both the public and private sectors, panel discussions will highlight and address issues around gender inequality.
Dr Claudine Hingston and Dr Aradhana Ramnund-Mansingh, academics at MANCOSA private higher education institution, and who are passionate about embodying and driving gender empowerment, will present papers during the session titled “The sting of the Queen Bee is rooted in toxic masculinity”.
They will unpack the theoretical framework of toxic masculinity and the Queen Bee phenomenon, which can undermine female leadership and empowerment, together with practical advice on how to mitigate this.
The conference will be held virtually on 1 and 2 October and will cover topics such as the digital gender divide; economic emancipation of women; the importance of
recognition for trailblazing women in business; and creating change through social entrepreneurship.
Dr Hingston, a lecturer in Management and Leadership and head of the Centre for Women Leadership at MANCOSA, is actively engaged in research work and has written and published a number of articles on women, leadership and gender issues.
She will speak about “Toxic Masculinity”. In a culture that equates masculinity with physical power, some men and boys feel they are failing at “being a man”. Dr Hingston will submit that toxic masculinity has created a void in their lives that they believe can be filled through violence, through domination and through aggression towards women.
Dr Ramnund-Mansingh, an academic whose research for her PHD explored the link between institutional culture and the career advancement of female academics in higher education, will talk about her research into the “African Queen Bee” syndrome, a topic that garnered widespread interest when she first went public with her findings. She says the African Queen Bee is exceptionally confident, fearless and determined to change the course of business within the country. Depending on her age category, she remembers vaguely experiences of apartheid discrimination or she has heard her parents and elders speak of it. She is plagued by the loss of power suffered by her people and is determined to right those wrongs singularly.
The keynote address titled “Women of Africa unite against a common threat: complacency” will be delivered by The Honourable First Lady of South Africa, Dr Tshepo Motsepe.