The importance of equipping and encouraging young women for careers in the corporate workplace cannot be underestimated. Epiroc proudly showcased its solid commitment to ‘girl power’ by supporting the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day 2019.
The Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day initiative which takes place annually on the last Thursday of May sees companies invite female school learners, who are generally from disadvantaged communities, to spend the day with them.
Corporate office life
Every year Epiroc looks forward to participating in this initiative as it presents the ideal opportunity for girls to experience corporate office life. ‘The girls are inspired and motivated to pursue their goals and dreams and to continue to be true to themselves,’ says regional communications and academy manager at Epiroc, Kathryn Coetzer. ‘We want to show the girls that when women support each other, great things can happen. By opening the invitation to our employees’ daughters, nieces and sisters we also affirm our focus on family.’
On 30 May 2019, Epiroc warmly welcomed daughters, sisters, and nieces of Epiroc employees as well as learners from the East Rand School of the Arts, making up a group of some 30 girls.
The company prepared a diverse, educational, fun-filled day to assist the girls on their career development paths. The female empowerment agenda kicked off with a nutritious breakfast, followed by a welcome and getting-to-know each girl session. Kathryn gave the young women a glimpse into the working world by creating a production line to put together plugs. The learners had to select one of six stations to work at while Kathryn gave them a time frame and created different scenarios experienced in the real working world. ‘The purpose of this task was to ensure that the girls don’t give up at the task at hand,’ explains Kathryn. ‘Adapted from a ted talk, we promoted ‘Grit’ as the key word that would get them through anything they do in life.’
After demonstrating their perseverance in the production line, the learners were treated to an expressive art activity overseen by Academy Training Coordinator at Epiroc, Kovashni Govender, which saw each of the girls receiving art supplies and a canvas print. The girls were instructed to decorate the canvas which was themed ‘women hold up half the sky’, to reflect who they truly are. This activity enabled the girls to express their uniqueness through art as well as to learn the importance of supporting each other by sharing decorating ideas, tips and even their art supplies.
The girls then enjoyed a lunch break before participating in the final activity of the day; a motivational task conducted by the Reality Wellness Group. The activity required the girls to decorate a rock and write motivational words on it. The rationale behind the concept was that every time the young ladies looked at the rock they should be reminded of a rock’s resilience and the ‘strong’ meaning behind the words that they wrote on it.
A learning curve
The day ended on a positive note with the girls having gained a deeper understanding of how a workplace operates and an appreciation of their strengths and skills. The girls expressed their gratitude for this learning opportunity and agreed that they had learnt a lot about the workplace as well as about themselves.
Wrapping up Kathryn says, ‘Epiroc is delighted to be part of an initiative that positively impacts the lives of these girls. We hope that each of the participants has walked away with valuable insights which will help them to go forward and carve their future careers.’