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An old and reverberated cliché – ‘’Women represent the least valued and the most under-tapped resource,’’ remains true today as it was in time past. The US executive and author Sheryl Sandberg could not have put it better when she said “We must raise both the ceiling and the floor’’ in our struggle to get more women to the top. ‘’When women access their rightful opportunities when their talents are made to shine without hesitation when they have access to education, training and finance when their standing is determined by results and not gender, the effect will be spectacularly transformative, and will represent a return on investment beyond what is imagined by the most progressive amongst us.’’

Women will be the minority in almost all if a random survey of board rooms is taken, and in statistics where you are in the minority, growing your influence and power takes time. With over two decades in the banking industry, Reinette Van der Merwe earned the title of being the only woman in the boardroom, and she was the only woman most of the time. In this interview with Amazons Watch magazine, she shares her thoughts on this and other issues. Excerpts:

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting everyone, but some are more likely to have a drastic impact than others. Recent data from UNFPA show that the economic and physical disruption, engendered by the disease, have a more catastrophic impact on women and girls around the world with evidence of an increase in violence against women and girls, the world over.

Working her way through the ranks of her family-owned retail store, Magazine Luiza, Luiza Helena Trajano transformed the company from a retail store in Franca Sao Paulo, into one of Brazil’s leading retailers, now operating over 731 stores across 16 states in the country. Trajano has in the last decade, retained her place as one of Brazil’s leading women entrepreneurs, building and operating a multi-billion – dollar cooperation.

The oil and gas industry ranks top on the list of industries with the highest gender imbalance. However, certain women are working hard to close the gap and maybe, create balance in the industry. In a recent interview with the Amazons Watch Magazine, Ms Wadei Powell who is the CEO of Srimex Oil and Gas Company talk about her experiences and how she has been able to create a niche for herself in a male-dominated sector. Excerpts;