Botswana women of high standing and political persuasion came in droves for the Botswana Democratic party (BDP) high tea fundraising event that was held at Gaborone Sun Saturday.
The spirit of camaraderie pervaded the lush green gardens of Gaborone Sun on a cloudless afternoon where even women who were slugging it out in the recent past general elections shared tables and chit-chatted about this and that. But the idle talk soon died down as the woman of the moment, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Life Insurance, Catherine Lesetedi-Letegele, the guest speaker stood up to begin her address.
In this tete-a-tete Lesetedi-Letegele urged fellow women to rise above life-long attitudes of petty talk and vicious competition against each other.
“The time is now to see beyond the external facade of dress and looks. We should rather look deep for the real substance that lies latent within each and every one of us.
“The time is now for us to rise and show our worth as a collective. As women, the time is now for us to help each other achieve their highest level of excellence,” Lesetedi-Letegele cooed.
She said they should therefore redefine success not to mean that they are better than the next woman.
“But rather that I am successful because I have contributed to the success of another woman. My success should be your success.
“For those of us in positions of leadership, be it in government, politics, corporate or civil society, we have a responsibility of ensuring that we are looking out for other women in lesser positions.
“Our job is to coach them and ensure that we have a good balance between males and females in our leadership teams,” she said.
Lesetedi-Letegele declared that they had a duty to deliver to the nation more female leaders than what has been achieved in the past.
“An empowered woman in my view is a woman who knows her place in society and embraces it unreservedly.
“She is assertive, influential and is a positive force in the lives of those around her. She is confident, fearless, and optimistic.
“An empowered woman knows that she is not inferior to anyone, man or woman. Therefore she doesn’t wait for anyone to give her permission to shine,” Lesetedi-Letegele intoned.
She noted the fact that there are only 26 female CEO’s in the Fortune 500 companies, is instructive enough and “gives us an indication of how far behind the world is in embracing the empowerment of women.
“According to the American business magazine Forbes, in 2015 there is a record 1,826 billionaires of which only 197 are female.
“In politics as well, there are just a handful of female presidents or prime ministers,” she said.
The crème de la crème of the female corporate world came to lend a hand and mingle with Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) leaders and politicians across the divide.
Some of the politicians were current Minister of health Dorcas Makgato, assistant minister of Local government and Rural Development Botlogile Tshireletso amongst others.