THEY say, charity begins at home. But Veno Mbuende, who is the acting Head of Security and Risk Control at Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings (NPTH) limited, takes this popular adage a step further by throwing the issue of gender mainstreaming into the fray.

“I always say, ‘Women empowerment starts at home’. It is important to make sure we empower women within our homes and communities and in that way, it will be easier to empower them in the workplace,” Mbuende told Inspirational Women magazine, in the wake of the International Women’s Day, this year.

“Most importantly, we need to break societal barriers that hold women back. For example, in some sections women are not allowed to speak at a meeting in front of men and that is a barrier,” she added.

Mbuende is one of the women who are in leadership at the NPTH, thanks to the transformative approach which has been adopted by the management at this pivotal parastatal.

“We are fortunate that our organization has been empowering women. It is evident in our management team which is comprised mainly of young women.

I believe we are on the right path, and we should continue with that trajectory,” she said adding that, historically women have been economically disadvantaged due to the prevalence of roles that were traditionally known and considered to be suitable for women in the workplace.

In Mbuende’s view, empowered women are more confident and because of that, they can execute their tasks without second-guessing themselves. She further believes that, once empowered, women are more committed towards the betterment of their respective organisations and committed to teamwork, as opposed to their male counterparts.

She was, however, quick to point out that the buck does not stop with the appointing of women in positions of influence but goes a long way in ensuring that these empowered women continue to pull in the same direction, by creating spaces such as women’s conferences and similar platforms for women-to-women mentorship within their organisations.

Equally important, according to Mbuende, is to create conducive environments in workplaces for women to thrive. In keeping with this, she said, she has encouraged women to apply for predominantly male positions within the organization, where they ensure they get the leave they are entitled to without a hassle, in addition to actively allowing remote working when needed.

“I think for the most part women dominated industries such as hospitality, nursing etc. are industries that are accessible to anyone, and it is simply a matter of preference that men do not take much interest in those.

However, with regards to male dominated industries like construction and engineering, it has always been assumed that because it is labour intensive, it is not suitable for women,” she said, adding that, contrary to popular belief women are actually strong enough to do those jobs – even more so, with the advancement of technology into the new age of artificial intelligence where everything can be done with machines and robots.


Describing herself as a strong negotiator who always try to look at situations from the other person’s point of view, Mbuende also prides herself as a hard-working perfectionist, who does not compromise on her work.

In her own words, her current line of work chose her as she, initially, wanted to become a police officer but ended up joining the NPTH as part of the security staff.

“As I sat in the control room, I always thought to myself how I could contribute towards safeguarding the organisation and that is when I became passionate about issues of access control,” she said.

Mbuende hails from Aminus where she attended lower primary school before proceeding to Windhoek in the 1980s and enrolled at St. Barnabas Senior Primary School.

She attended High School at Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School, back then known as Katutura Secondary School, where she completed Grade 10. She completed Grade 12 through the Namibia College of Open Learning (NAMCOL), after which she proceeded to do short courses in Business Communication, Labour Relations, Negotiation, and a technical certificate in Access Control System.

“All these courses complement my skills and job title and helped me grow professionally in my 29-year career at NPTH.

Additionally, I have been the workplace representative of NAPWU for the past 15 years responsible for labour issues,” Mbuende revealed, further maintaining that for the past 12 years, she has also served on the NAPOTEL Medical Aid as a board member and since 2021 she was also appointed to serve on the NAPOTEL Pension Fund.

Through it all, she said, her key aspiration is to promote ‘gender balance in the work environment and to give it a fresh perspective.’