NWU launches Women in Leadership Programme

The North-West University’s (NWU’s) People and Culture unit and Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) recently collaborated to host the launch of the university's first Women in Leadership Programme.

The programme launch, themed "How to thrive as an influential woman leader in higher education", took place at Vanderbijlpark Riverside Sun Hotel.

The programme flowed from a CTL project that focused on women in leadership in the context of teaching and learning. Throughout its three-year duration, the primary objective of this project was to create a community of practice that includes women in leadership roles in the teaching and learning domain.

It has been incorporated as one of the NWU's strategic initiatives, led by the principal and vice-chancellor, Prof Bismark Tyobeka, and aligns with the university's multigenerational strategy. Its goal is to identify and nurture women with high potential, ensuring a steady supply of qualified candidates for leadership positions. The programme also aims to close the gender gap in the talent pool and facilitate long-term succession planning.

The event was attended by various dignitaries, including NWU chancellor Dr Anna Mokgokong, Prof Bismark Tyobeka, and Prof Linda du Plessis, the vice-principal and deputy vice-chancellor for planning and Vanderbijlpark Campus operations.

Other distinguished guests included Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, former vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, and former first lady Bongi Ngema-Zuma.

Dr Mokgokong officially launched the programme with a talk on "Thriving as an influential woman leader in higher education”, and commended the university for the initiative.

"I am proud to be part of this launch. I commend the NWU for building a pipeline for future leaders, encouraging women to take on leadership roles, and enabling long-term succession planning," she said.

She added that she has witnessed the impact of women’s empowerment first-hand, and encouraged women to embrace education and continuous learning.

"Learn how to lead and take ownership of your own careers. Embrace your journey and stop underestimating your strengths.”

One of the event's highlights was the roundtable discussions facilitated by Zelda van der Berg from People and Culture. Topics discussed included The Queen Bee Syndrome by Prof Tshilidzi Netshitangani, and Sticky Floors by Prof Sipho Kwatubana.

The evening concluded with a gala dinner and notable speakers such as Dr Sharon Paulse, Siwela Masoga and Tintswalo Mukhari.

Event spokesperson Helen Lekalakala said the programme launch was a success.

"I am proud of the colleagues from People and Culture and CTL who organised and co-ordinated this event. The roundtable discussions were engaging and provided valuable insights on how women can thrive as influential leaders in higher education,” she said.



These ladies were dressed to the nines.


The audience listen attentively during the roundtable discussions.


Prof Bismark Tyobeka, NWU principal and vice-chancellor, addresses the audience.


Dr Anna Mokgokong is the chancellor of the NWU.


Prof Linda du Plessis, vice-principal and deputy vice-chancellor for planning and Vanderbijlpark Campus operations, lead the evening proceedings.


Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, former vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town.

Submitted on Wed, 08/30/2023 - 10:24