The Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) recently hosted its second webinar in the “Women in Capital Markets” series. This webinar ran under the theme, “Perspectives from Senior Women Who Have Served in the Capital Markets,” exploring the contributions and achievements of women in the sectors.
The Women in Capital Markets initiative was launched to catalyse efforts, provide platforms and amplify the voice of women in the capital markets to engage, collaborate and provide a support system.
While the first one was for a younger woman, the second webinar, moderated by SECZ Head of Investor Education, Farai Mpofu and Investor Education Officer, Precious Hassen gave senior women in the capital markets a platform to share their experiences, encourage other women to create space for themselves, and make a difference in their organisations. The panel comprised of Mrs. Caroline Sandura, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) Chairman and Mrs. Willia Bonyongwe, SECZ Founding Chairman.
Mrs. Bonyongwe (B.Sc. M.Sc. Economics), MBA has an impressive portfolio and wealth of experience working with corporates in the financial services industry including, ZIMSTATs, CZI, ZB (FINHOLD), FLAM and ZIMRA, among others.
Mrs. Sandura has served on several boards and worked with reputable corporates like Posts and Telecommunications (PTC), and Tel-One (Private) Limited. After her Joint Honours in Law and Politics from Keele University, she attended Inns of Court School of Law for England and Wales where she graduated as a Barrister at Law.
Having worked in an industry that was male-dominated in the post-colonial era, the panelists shared their experiences on how they had to fight to make their mark.
Over the years, both panelists experienced highs and lows; they highlighted the several challenges they faced along the way and how they overcame these or navigated this space. The goal was to inform and guide participants as a means to support and nudge women in their professional journey. Examples included Mrs. Sandura’ s experiences as the Chairman of Zimbabwe’s Mining Cooperation and her focus on supporting the mining industry to take its place on the ZSE as it is pivotal to the economy. Another was around perseverance and importance of good leadership and relationships as a means to break through in a male-dominated industry.
The panelists also shared their accomplishments providing positive reinforcement for women in the capital markets, motivating them to excel. Using testimonials of award-winning women who have served in the industry, who have executed successful projects and held positions of authority, propelled many to strive toward more and larger goals as witnessed from positive feedback shared by participants.
Support was established as a fundamental need with the panelists, sharing how family and professional mentors guided their journey in capital market to success. Women were advised to take charge of their destiny and work hard to make their mark.
Ultimately, for financial independence, women were encouraged to invest on the stock markets and cultivate the patience to nurture investments as women are perceived to be natural savers. The local stock market has consistently out-performed inflation. According to the panelists, international markets returns are relatively lower while in emerging markets like Zimbabwe there is a possibility of getting relatively high returns.
The panelists reassured audiences that their investments on local stock markets are safe as there are independent bodies like SECZ and the Investor Protection Fund (IPF) that are responsible for the protection of investors in capital markets.
The panelists challenged women to make themselves readily available in their professional spaces, to be bold and seek out mentors and above all, be themselves!
SECZ invites all women working in capital markets and business operators looking to grow through listing to join the next session of the series.
This article was written as part of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe ’s Investor Education Campaign in partnership with the Investor Protection Fund. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org