Promoting gender diversity and inclusion and creating workplaces and societies where individuals, regardless of gender, have equal opportunities, representation and recognition is the change that Eunice Sakaria, the company secretary in the office of the Chief Executive Officer at Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH) Limited wants to see.

She speaks about other things that make the women’s world tick.

IWIB: Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?
SE: My journey starts from a small town of Tsumeb in the north-eastern part of Namibia where I grew up with my grandfather and my parents. I attended Ondunu Primary school where it all started. After the closure of the TCL mine I was faced with the challenge of walking about 20 km at the age of eight years to school as the buses where no longer available to pick pupils to and from school.

Growing up in such an environment and overcoming the obstacles I faced likely shaped my character and instilled a strong sense of purpose. The commitment to change the world and create a better future, especially for the younger generation, developed the passion of leadership and empowerment in me.

IWIB: Can you tell us what led you to this particular career path?
SE: Besides being exposed to that harsh environment, my dream was to change the world and make it a better place for children and that is how I developed the passion of leadership.

IWIB: As a senior executive what is the change that is wanted? What would success look like?
SE: The desired change is promoting gender diversity and inclusion and to create workplaces and societies where individuals, regardless of gender, have equal opportunities, representation, and recognition.

IWIB: What institutional and societal changes need to be done for women to be empowered?
SE: Women need more of the inclusiveness.

IWIB: What rights do women lack? Where are the barriers that are locking them out of the economic system?
SE: While significant progress has been made in promoting gender equality, women still face various challenges and disparities in different parts of the world. Such as equal pay, access to education, healthcare disparities representation in leadership roles, discrimination and stereotypes, maternity leave and parental policies, etc.

IWIB: What are the benefits of having empowered women in the organization?
SE: Having empowered women in an organisation brings a range of benefits that contribute to its success, innovation, and overall effectiveness. This can be seen in areas such as diverse perspectives which empowers women to bring ideas, and problem-solving approaches to the table. Others could be the gap pay method.

IWIB: How can we expand women’s links to each other e.g. mentorship, coaching, and networking?
SE: Create structured mentorship programs within the organisation to pair experienced women leaders with those seeking guidance.
Ensure mentorship is a two-way street, where both parties can learn from each other. Encourage peer-to-peer mentoring. Include the girl child in this process to ensure capacity and empowerment from an early age.

IWIB: Why is there a push to get women in male dominated industries and not a push to get men in women dominated industries?
SE: The push to increase gender diversity in male-dominated industries and encourage women to pursue careers in these fields stems from historical gender imbalances, stereotypes, and societal norms that have limited women’s participation in certain professions. The goal is to address these disparities and promote equal opportunities for all.

IWIB: Why is there a need for women in male-dominated industries?
SE: The need for women in male-dominated industries is rooted in principles of diversity, equality, and the recognition that diverse teams contribute to a more dynamic and innovative work environment.

IWIB: What are your greatest strengths?
SE: Communication, empowerment and leadership