A grassroots level approach is much needed in the eradication of the scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa where men need to call each other out.
These are the views of Mudinda Tshimbidi, a University of Pretoria graduate who is now a strategy and consulting manager for a Fortune Global 500 company as women’s month comes to a close.
“It is about men calling out other men for sexual innuendos, inappropriate conduct, toxic masculinity and jokes at the ‘boys’ clubs,” said Tshimbidi, who graduated from UP with a BEng Mining Engineering degree and an honours in Technology Management.
Tshimbidi also holds a Management Practice qualification from Henley Business School and a certification in Social Innovation from the University of Cape Town.
Tshimbidi said the media needs to change its narrative of presenting women as victims and rather put emphasis on the men who were the perpetrators.
“We need harsher consequences to deter perpetrators and to go beyond “slap on the wrist” bail or jail time. “We need to create conducive environments in law enforcement where women can report these matters without being harassed to relive the GBV ordeal and be ridiculed in the process.”
As for her role as a strategy and consulting manager, Tshimbidi explained that part of her job involves navigating uncertainty to deliver value to clients and to solve significant business problems by translating challenges into opportunities through innovative thinking and frontier technologies.
She said a highlight in her career was receiving an embrace from a stakeholder for having simplified their day-to-day work through digital transformation on mining operations. “I enjoy going beyond the business case and solving problems to make people’s lives easier in a tangible way while delivering quantitative value for our clients’ businesses,” says Tshimbidi.
Having a purpose keeps her motivated, and she says that while juggling a family and a career can be challenging, it is doable. “Life will always pose challenges – that is a guarantee. However, I believe that every challenge is an opportunity to grow and have my character shaped. Managing a family and a career is possible because of God’s grace, a strong support system and a passion to self-actualise.”
Her message to women was to always be authentic; to have an unbridled passion for purposeful impact; to learn to celebrate themselves and weed out imposter syndrome from their lives.
“Seek out support and be available to support others – there is power in vulnerability,” said Tshimbidi.