Defining Gender in the Workplace Post COVID- 19 Lockdown: Equalizing the Playing Field

Friday 16 October 2020, 10am – 11:30am

Content Focus Area: Futureshock: How has the workplace changed in unforeseen ways?

 

Presentation Abstract:

The term “working parent” has taken on a whole new meaning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Cooped up in their homes, caretakers are faced with managing personal responsibilities along with professional ones, all within the context of a global pandemic, and varying school, day-care, and nursing home closures. The emotional toll of having to worry about your work, your children’s education, and your family’s health and well-being right now is immense. “Clearly it is not about time management, hence various concepts such as the concept of ‘make-your-own schedules’ has not only resulted in productivity but also to happy working parents and care givers.

Many consider the turning point in women’s employment history to be the First World War when women entered the workforce to replace enlisted men. This wasn’t the same wave of employment experienced in WW2, but it was enough to alter the working dynamic going forward. When war ended and women were encouraged to return to their place in the kitchen, they resisted and never went back. This meant that women who are primary seen and expected by society to be caregivers entered the workplace with all their other roles and functions both at home and in the society. The current COVID -19 lockdown has presented us with an invaluable opportunity to learn how these intersectionalities co-exist.

Caregivers often experience hectic and out-of-control schedules, hence a new workplace arrangement become necessary in navigating uncharted grounds. Remote working is a working style that allows professionals to work outside of a traditional office environment, instead of commuting to an office each day to work from a designated desk, remote employees can execute their projects and surpass their goals wherever they are located.

 

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will learn about international and national legal frameworks that promote workplace health, safety and wellness.

2. Participants will learn how to use these legal frameworks to mainstream gender equality issues now and beyond lockdown in the workplace regardless of location.

3. Participants will learn how to champion conducive workplace environments that embrace gender equality, gender related roles, diversity and inclusion.

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Ms Sixolile Ngcobo

Ms Sixolile Ngcobo

Gender and Development Specialist and EAP Practitioner

 

Sixolile Ngcobo is a gender and development specialist and EAP Practitioner with over 20 years’ experience, extensive knowledge and expertise in gender equality with a special focus on women’s rights and development in Africa. She joined EAPA-SA Free State Chapter in 2016 and has relocated to the Western Cape. Expert in organisational development providing executive leadership, strategic and management support to institutions focused on gender inequalities within the African social political and cultural context. Fully conversant with process and protocol of engaging with and negotiation at international, regional and national levels with a clear focus on women’s rights and gender equality. In 2015, Ms. Ngcobo founded The Well Health Company a consulting firm that advises institutions on future workplaces and has been a practising EAP Practioners since 2016, Ms. Ngcobo works as the Provincial Manager for the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) a Constitutional Body mandated by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Section 187 to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. Ms. Ngcobo, has acquired research and analytical skills on policy and practice of institutions in relation to gender equality and gender diversity in the workplace. Her current job at the CGE exposes her to monitor and evaluate the policies and practice of both public and private institutions.