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15 FACTS ABOUT THE CELL C TAKE A GIRL CHILD TO WORK DAY®

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1. Take a Girl Child To Work Day® was started in 2003 as Cell C’s flagship CSI project. The programme targets Grade 10 to 12 girl learners, who want to start making decisions about their future careers. In the last 15 years, this impactful campaign has grown into a nationwide movement and one of South Africa’s most recognisable and successful social campaigns.

2. From the very beginning, the project aimed to expose girls to a day in the professional workplace, showcasing a wide variety of career opportunities they would not otherwise be exposed to – and in doing so helping them to dream, believe and achieve.

3. The Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day® initiative contributes towards the development of strong, smart, bold girls and assist in preparing a core of future women leaders who will be vibrant contributors to the economy and leading job creators for our country.

4. The concept caught the imagination of corporate South Africa and its growth has been exponential. In 2003, 85 companies signed up to host school girls. By 2016, a record 720 corporates partnered with Cell C to host an estimated 100 000 girls.

5. To date, more than 750 000 girls have been through the programme.

6. The campaign has been received with enthusiasm and excitement from all sectors: government, the corporate world, media and the non-profit sector. Some of the high-profile people who have supported the project since its inception include former President Nelson Mandela; former President Thabo Mbeki; current President, Jacob Zuma; former Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Nqcuka; Minister of Women in the Presidency, Ms Susan Shabangu; erstwhile Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela and JSE CEO, Nicky Newton-King – to name just a few.

7. Well known South African women (among them Basetsana Kumalo, Rolene Strauss, Cheryl Carolus, Sophie Ndaba, Leanne Manas, Jenna Clifford and Dolly Mokgatle) have served as ambassadors for the campaign. As successful women in the fields of media, business, government and politics, these women provide an example to young women while helping them believe that anything is possible.

8. Seeing the need for an initiative that helps young women further their education, and wanting to replace the “one day” concept with a legacy programme, Cell C partnered with the Tomorrow Trust in 2012 to form the Cell C Girl Child Bursary Fund.  To date, 30 girl learners from disadvantaged backgrounds have received bursaries to pursue Further Education and Training (FET).

9. Cell C also established a Girl Child Institute of Mentorship in which successful senior female executives and managers share their expertise and time with girl learners.

10. At a United Nations World Conference on Women in 1995, the development of the Girl Child was identified as one of twelve thematic areas of need.

11. In 2015, the African Union, acknowledged that a lot still needs to be done in Africa to bring women into the epicentre of development.  They have declared 2010 – 2020 the ‘African Women’s Decade’ under the theme: “Grassroots approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment”. The Africa Agenda 2063 provides for 50% women representation in decision-making by 2020.

12. The vision of Africa 2063 is a Continent with full gender parity, with women occupying the centre stage in all sectors relevant to the economy. The successful implementation of this strategic framework will go a long way in destroying the economic and political glass ceiling that restricts women’s progress and integration into the economic mainstream.

13. The Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day® initiative was recognised in October 2016 as one of the unique interventions that seeks to address not only an ICT industry skills risk, but also a national risk of girls failing to take up the opportunities open to them in the corporate world which has an obvious effect on aggravating the skills shortage.  The award was given to Cell C in recognition of its contribution towards managing the Skills Shortage risk and addressing inequality. According to the Institute of Risk Management of South Africa (IRMSA), skills shortage is the third highest risk both on national and industry levels.

14. One of Cell C’s proudest moments was when the project was voted as one of the country’s “single largest collaborative acts of volunteerism” by The Encyclopaedia of Brands and Branding in South Africa.

15.In keeping with the theme of empowering women, the majority of Cell C’s workforce is female.

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