On the 31st of August 2018, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Community Engagement Division held a Round Table Open Conversation on women as everyday leaders in mentoring/ mentorship roles.
Women who are making a difference in their personal and professional capacity were honoured with gifts and with special poetry performances by Ms Lebohang Metsileng.
Ms Ernestine Meyer-Adams, Community Engagement Manager at UJ opened the conversation and thanked every person that was present.”Today we want to appreciate and celebrate women who are making a difference in the lives of other women.”
She also pointed out that women are natural leaders who lead their families on a daily basis.
”I am of the personal belief that mentorship is an answer to societal problems and women need to mentor each other, especially the experienced ones, to help equip younger women with tools to handle life better. Be it spiritually, socially, intellectually or physically.”
The conversation on women, hosted respected business women who are passionate about embodying and driving women empowerment in mentorship. The panelists shared their own perspective and strategies that need to be implemented around the mentorship of women.
On the panel was Ms Muriel Norman, Ms Cornel Marais, Ms Charlotte Van der Merwe, Dr Fezile Gabella, and Ms Adri-Marie Van Heerden.
Dr Fezile said, ”As mentors we need to be careful not to pressure our mentees to emulate who we are but rather grow into who they want to be.” She also placed an emphasis on understanding that the mentorship is not a relationship where it’s what you want in your life, it’s about the menteer and you have to understand that you’ve been given permission to guide and walk along that person.
Ms Adri- Marie Van Heerden said that, ”We, as women need to start complimenting and encouraging one another.” She added, ”Expansion of ourselves is our responsibility.”
The proceedings concluded with the handing of gifts to various community engagement mentors who are continuing to collaborate with UJ in changing the lives of other women. The gifts were hand made by the the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) students.