‘Male role models needed to dismantle patriarchy in the workplace’ | Citypress

The lack of male role models to inspire the young boys is a societal issue that needs to be addressed with urgency

2021-09-21 11:01:00 PM

The lack of male role models to inspire the young boys is a societal issue that needs to be addressed with urgency

Corporate executives looked at how the deep-seated roots of patriarchy, which influences both men and women in the workplace, can be disentangled, last week.

The force of patriarchy is the water that we all swim in and we’re the fishTerry RealThe company specialises in facilitating youth development programmes for high school pupils from underserved communities.Anchored on the theme of empowering the ecosystem by taking the boy child on the journey, the virtual discussion called attention to the socialising agents that play a role in shaping the gender mindset.

Moshoana spoke on the importance of men in taking the boys under their wings and reflected on his own experiences of being raised by a single mother. He added that having had to be a father figure to his siblings at a tender age forced him to place his own ideas on the back burner.

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Nkosinathi Moshoana, Primestars Education’s general manager during a virtual roundtable said: “We are a fatherless nation, boys are not led by men and males end up entering the cooperate world at the back of a woman. We need to try to move from gender place and seek gender liberation instead.” The force of patriarchy is the water that we all swim in and we’re the fish Terry Real The company specialises in facilitating youth development programmes for high school pupils from underserved communities. Anchored on the theme of empowering the ecosystem by taking the boy child on the journey, the virtual discussion called attention to the socialising agents that play a role in shaping the gender mindset. Moshoana spoke on the importance of men in taking the boys under their wings and reflected on his own experiences of being raised by a single mother. He added that having had to be a father figure to his siblings at a tender age forced him to place his own ideas on the back burner. READ Zim women comedians talk about sex and tackle patriarchy While patriarchy was viewed by many as a system of society or government in which men held the power and women are largely excluded from it, Juba Mashaba, chief human resources officer at Cell C, said “patriarchy does not only exist in men”. He quoted American therapist and author Terry Real: “The force of patriarchy is the water that we all swim in and we’re the fish. Women can be just as patriarchal as men by holding those same types of values and biases. “The problem is compounded by the challenge by single mothers’ refusal to give their estranged partners access to their children, and this has underlying effects on the girl and boy child,” Real added. Before putting females in a position of power, it is important to address these beliefs and feelings of self-esteem, confidence and body image to empower women Natasha Turton For Natasha Turton, a counselling psychologist and tertiary lead at the Tomorrow Trust, it was imperative that society at large “addresses negative beliefs and feelings that propagate the patriarchy agenda”. “Before putting females in a position of power, it is important to address these beliefs and feelings of self-esteem, confidence and body image to empower women – because these are messages that influence the mindset,” Turton explained. Tomorrow Trust is a non-profit organisation which supports orphaned and vulnerable children throughout their journey with holistic education-encompassing academics and life skills. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey of the second quarter of this year, the country’s labour market was more advantageous to men than it was to women. Men were more likely to be in paid employment than women regardless of race, while women are more likely than men to be doing unpaid work. “The statistics are there, majority of the workforce is made up of females yet men are the ones in the decision-making positions at management level, the inequality between men and women still exists. We need to empower both sides in order to get to the root of the matter,” said Juliet Mhango, chief human capital, development and transformation officer at Cell C. Photo: Juliet Mhango For Natasha Turton, it was imperative that society at large “addresses negative beliefs and feelings that propagate the patriarchy agenda”. Photo: Supplied Primestars Education general manager Nkosinathi Moshoana. Photo: Supplied Mhango added that the power dynamics started at home where children passively learnt and thus mirrored the behaviour of their parents. Therefore, addressing the empowerment ecosystem would also include the power relations at home.  Delivering the