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The authority on gender empowerment in business for nearly 20 years.

Implementing gender-driven development in the workplace can strengthen an organisation

Written by Editor

April 4, 2023

By Gauteng City College

Gauteng City College (GCC) is a registered Private FET College with the Department of Higher Education and Training and has been in operation since 2012 and has multiple fully operational sites of delivery across South Africa. GCC has established itself as a private education provider that produces excellent results through current, relevant and innovative teaching and learning models.

Leading the team together with the Owner and Founder of GCC, Roick Chikati, is the Director and Chief Operations Officer, Miss Thireshni Naidoo, with a staff complement of over 300. She is a visionary and strategic leader skilled at advancing organisation transformation through skills development initiatives.

A highly energetic and creative individual with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong business acumen, Miss Thireshni Naidoo shares that implementing gender-driven development in the workplace has strengthened the institution to magnificent heights. 

“Strategic objectives became cultural and operational goals that were implemented, monitored and maintained by our employment equity committee. Along with regular non-pivotal training that focused on gender-mainstreaming, GBV, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  Where possible, we actively seek partnerships and projects aimed at developing and growing women in underrepresented spaces,” she says.

Thireshni adds that increased levels of emotional intelligence and employment equity have allowed them to work towards becoming a workplace of choice rather than just a workplace. “Women mentoring unemployed female youth has also led to greater workplace collaboration in terms of performance as well as a development of a youth-based talent pool.”

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The institution proudly boasts of being 51% African-women-owned, with employment equity showing 59% of the staff are female and that 89% of the staff forces comprises African people.

Touching on the current and future trends in this sector, Thireshni says their trends are aligned with the local government mandate – to reduce poverty and unemployment through increased SMME  growth and “to implement interventions that promote gender equality actively while creating awareness of GBV challenges as highlighted by COVID-19 to achieve effective and sustainable development outcomes.”

On expanding business across the continent, she shares that the institution is committed to developing Centers of Excellence that produce high-quality work-ready candidates earmarked for placement within the corporate sector in each of the nine provinces (they are currently at 7).  “Once achieved, with our online and distance learning service offerings, crossing borders and going international is the next natural pathway for us,” she said. 

Not only is she politically savvy and an influential communicator who can build productive relationships with people from all backgrounds, Thireshni thrives in ambiguous circumstances and has a strong ability to gather and compile best practices and encourage others to support positive change.

She’s inspired by female leaders such as Michelle Obama. “As a truly modern-day, revolutionary woman, who has championed a multitude of important causes throughout her life, she has encouraged better education for girls, equal rights, healthy living and more help for families living in poverty,” she said. 


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