Nedbank Namibia has announced it will once again sponsor the upcoming Nedbank Women in Media (WiM) conference, this time scheduled for 27 May 2023.
Nedbank Namibia’s commitment to gender equity is more essential than ever, as women in the media industry grapple with gender disparities in leadership, mental health, expert representation, online hostility and harassment, and stereotypical portrayals.
Amidst these formidable challenges, the conference emerges as a transformative space for trailblazing voices to address urgent issues head-on, fostering an environment of empowerment, support, and change.
Speaking about the sponsorship, Nedbank Namibia Communication and PR Manager Selma Kaulinge said, “Nedbank Namibia is privileged to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Nedbank Women in Media initiative. Our sponsorship is an affirmation of our commitment to support and promote gender equality, not just within the media industry but throughout the society at large.”
As the highly anticipated Nedbank WiM conference returns for its third edition later this month, it will bring together brilliant women from diverse backgrounds and expertise to connect, exchange ideas, and embark on collaborative projects.
Young women looking to enter the media industry can look forward to this opportunity to learn from the industry’s finest and to cultivate a sense of community among both seasoned professionals and newcomers.
Prepare to be captivated by an exceptional line-up of women leaders who are reshaping the very fabric of the Namibian media industry. Influential voices such as CRAN CEO Emilia Nghikembua, Sasscal Executive Director Dr Jane Olwoch, and seasoned journalist Esther Mbathera, alongside other prominent speakers, are expected to share invaluable insight and experience on pertinent issues facing women in the media.
At the forefront of the conference is the Nedbank Women in Media movement, an organisation tackling the underrepresentation of women’s voices in mainstream media and fostering connections between women in the media and women newsmakers. Besides organising the conference, the movement orchestrates a series of workshops, training sessions, and mentoring programmes aimed at cultivating the skills and knowledge necessary for thriving in the industry.
Mostly recently, Nedbank WiM launched a WhatsApp group for women journalists to offer mutual advice and support, particularly on mental health issues—a testament to the group’s dedication to holistic support for women in the industry.
Co-Founder, Jemima Beukes, explains how crucial the conference is, as amplifying women’s voices and shifting harmful norms that affect most notably women journalists, women newsmakers and women readers.
“When women’s voices are not adequately represented, it perpetuates harmful stereotypes and contributes to gender inequality. Having women’s voices in the media can provide role models for women and girls, encouraging them to pursue their aspirations and break gender barriers.”
According to a 2023 report by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, female journalists often endure online hostility based on their gender and they often attribute a lack of support from news organisations to the prevalent “male-led structure” within organisations. Discrimination acts as a hindrance to women’s entry and advancement in the news media, ultimately pushing some to the unfortunate decision to leave the profession.
In light of this, Beukes stressed the importance of this conference as it highlights the necessity to change the media landscape for young women coming up, in addition to ensuring the well-being of the media industry: “Women bring diverse perspectives that can dismantle the inherent patriarchal leadership structure. Through the content they produce and their decisions, women in leadership positions can challenge gender stereotypes and promote gender equality.”
As a proud industry leader in championing gender equality and diversity, Nedbank has sponsored the conference since 2021, when it was founded by seasoned Namibian sport journalist Limba Mupetami.