The Sunday Mail
Women have made substantial progress in terms of equality and the onus is now on them to take the bull by the horns and run with it.
This was the biggest take away from a survey conducted by this paper on International Women’s Day last week.
Running under the global theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, women from different sporting disciplines were unanimous in their views that indeed strides have so far been made to accommodate them in what would otherwise be viewed as male-dominated workplaces.
Fadzai Chisveto, ZPC Kariba Football Club’s first female Chairperson, says working in a male dominated environment has been quite unnerving, but describes the welcome she has received from her peers as warm.
“Like any other environment, working in a male environment can be challenging especially when you are young and eager to impress.
“It requires one to be assertive and confident in their capabilities not as a woman but as a person-merit-wise,” she said.
The chairperson reckons sports fraternity has begun to acknowledge gender parities and has been crafting policies that accommodate women more.
“The environment recognises gender parity.
“As women we are just as competent as our male counterparts.
“The number of female engineers continues to rise and so should women in sport executive positions,” she said.
Chisveto, who took over from Tungamirirai Mazarire in January is also the public relations executive at Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).
Harare City Football Club chief executive officer, Tafadzwa Bhasera said contrary to misconceptions that the industry is harsh on women, things have changed.
She became the club’s first CEO in 2017, and since assuming that post says she enjoys her job more and more with each passing day.
“Yes, there are a few challenges, here and there, but I have never encountered any gender related challenges.
“People have misconceptions that its scary out there, but for me working with men has been an eye opener.
“It makes one see things differently and, likewise, men also learn a lot from us,” she said.
Bhasera said what women need now is a high level of self-respect and fortitude to with-stand whatever pressures comes their way.
“With men, there is no room for complacency because they are hands on and very competitive.
“Working in such an environment, women need to be professional and firm.
“They should know what they want to achieve and how to perform their duties,” she said.
Ngezi Platinum Stars chief executive officer Nyasha Kadenge concurred with her contemporaries.
“Before Ngezi, I was with the Christian soccer league but never envisioned myself joining such a big and male dominated office.
“Coming here; I did not know what to expect- especially after all the misconceptions out there about such jobs- but here I am.
“Ngezi Platinum is home to me now,” she said.
Kadenge urged women in sport to uphold moral integrity and everything else will take care of itself.
“Women need to use their abilities to bring about effective change in sport.
“Here, we work as a team. I have the support and respect from my team and even the players know how to keep their distance,” the Kadenge.
Zimbabwe Cricket head of corporate affairs Nesta Vaki said over the last couple of years, a lot has change in sport.
The workplace environment is now more accommodating to women, making it easier for them to prove themselves.
“Gone are the days when we had to be scared of male dominated industries for fear of the unknown. Now we have so much support and it is up to us to take the bull by the horn and run with it,” she said.