'Not all men are successful'

“At Sinayo Securities, our focus is to highlight women in the financial services [sector] and we want them to participate meaningfully,” said Babalwa Ngonyama (supplied)

“At Sinayo Securities, our focus is to highlight women in the financial services [sector] and we want them to participate meaningfully,” said Babalwa Ngonyama (supplied)

As the world marked international women’s day, Sinayo Securities also celebrated its success as the only JSE listed company that had been black-owned and women-led at its inception.

The equity sales and trading company was trading as the only 90% black and women-owned company on the JSE, until last year when Billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s investment vehicle-African Rainbow Capital bought a 49% stake in the firm, now making it 51% women owned.

“At Sinayo Securities, our focus is to highlight women in the financial services [sector] and we want them to participate meaningfully,” Babalwa Ngonyama chief executive at Sinayo told the Mail & Guardian.

“We are quite clear that not all men are successful ... what that tells you is that leaders have certain characteristics and it can either be a woman or a man, as long as you can show those characteristics, the world will embrace you,” she added.

Speaking at the “How markets have moved minds in 100 years” event hosted by Sinayo in Braamfontein on Tuesday, Motsepe said Sinayo provided a world-class service.

“There is exceptional talent in the black community and Babalwa is an example of a world-class service competing with the best in the world,” said Motsepe.

Motsepe’s move to invest in the equity and trading company last year was aimed at bolstering growth in black professionals in the securities sector.

“When I look at the top ten traders … the list is not static, what was number one in 2017 was not number one in 2015, there were players and they moved,” said Ngonyama, responding to how the company has strived to be the first and only of its kind.

Highlighting Sinayo’s success in its mentoring and coaching programme, Project Funda, where the company recruits 60 university graduates yearly, mostly female in the finance space and equips them with the necessary workplace skills.

“Project Funda focuses on fast-tracking the development of graduates, helping them to transition in the workplace, such that they do not just come in and learn slow but they participate meaningfully.”

“We want them to sit in boardrooms and be respected,” she added.

Ngonyama said that South Africa had an advantage of demographics as the majority of the population young. Youth has mobility and can redefine competitiveness, encouraging the government to invest more in digital transformation and support entrepreneurs in the space, said Babalwa.

​Thulebona Mhlanga

​Thulebona Mhlanga

Thulebona Mhlanga is financial trainee journalist  at the Mail & Guardian, currently enrolled for a masters in politics at the University of Johannesburg. In addition to her fervent interest in business writing, reading and educating others around issues of financial literacy, she volunteers her time to projects assisting women and promoting social justice.  Read more from ​Thulebona Mhlanga

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