The University of Pretoria TuksRes Women in Leadership Academy (TRWLA) was started in 2014 in order to provide a platform through which to enrich the lives of young women at university.
Whilst large strides have been made towards obtaining a more gender equal society, much work still needs to be done. The McKinsey insights report on gender parity from September 2015, rated the gender parity in Sub Saharan Africa to be just 0.57. We aim to change this statistic.
We love our country and have a passion for becoming agents of change. The world needs more critical thinkers, more captains of industry, more women who pioneer the way. We hope to be a part of enabling that process of growth in young women and investing not just into people, but also into the heart of South Africa.
Starting at the beginning of their university career, we focus on providing young female students with opportunities for growth and empowering them to use their potential.
At the core of the academy are the pillars of service, network and skills. We partner with first and second year female students in residences across the university and embark on a year of leadership training.
Each of the 18 residences is paired with a facilitator, a senior student leader who has been trained in mentorship and leadership development. Throughout the year, the facilitators deliver content lessons designed by a life-coaching consultancy. The students are also required to attend a series of workshops, seminars and community engagement events.
At the end of the year, students who have met the required criteria graduate from the academy and are officially recognized by UP.
Community engagement is encouraged in order to instill servant-hearted leadership. Events are organized with local underprivileged schools throughout the year. Grade 11 and 12 female learners are brought to UP to spend the day with the academy students, who teach them the skills they have learnt, provide information on tertiary study and funding, and develop mentor-mentee relationships.
Relationships are key in the academy. We encourage all ladies to have and to be a mentor, as well as to foster positive relationships with other student leaders. Guest speakers are invited to provide greater access to female role models. We also encourage greater engagement between societies promoting gender equality on campus.
Skills are taught in the 5 content lessons, guest speaker sessions and workshops throughout the year. These focus on business, leadership and life skills.