Cell C Take a Girl Child To Work Day®,started in 2003 as Cell C’s flagship CSI project, rapidly became one of the most important, life changing days for schoolgirls around the country.
The programme exposes Grade 10 to 12 girl learners to a day in the professional workplace, showcasing the infinite career opportunities and choices available. This unique experience in a safe environment can help a
learner choose a career path, or perhaps realize a career path to avoid. Corporates are encouraged to allow learners to job shadow for a day, allowing them to explore various careers and interests.
The concept caught the imagination of corporate South Africa and its growth has been exponential.
In 2003, 85 companies signed up to host schoolgirls. By 2017, a record 720 corporates partnered with Cell C to host an estimated 50 000 girls.This impactful campaign has grown into a nationwide, meaningful and powerful movement and one of South Africa’s most recognisable social campaigns. Over the past 16 years the campaign has been received with enthusiasm and excitement from all sectors: government, the corporate world, media and the non-profit sector. Some of the high profile people who have supported the project since its inception include President Cyril Ramaphosa, former Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki; Minister of Women in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu; erstwhile Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela and JSE CEO, Nicky Newton-King – to name just a few.
Cell C believes it is important that girls are exposed to accomplished female role models.Successful women in the public eye are great examples to ignite girls’ passion for leadership and excellence. Well known South African women (among them Basetsana Kumalo, Rolene Strauss, Cheryl Carolus, Sophie Ndaba, Leanne Manas, Jenna Clifford and Dolly Mokgatle) have served as ambassadors for the campaign. As successful women in the fields of media, business, government and politics, these women provide an example to young women while helping them believe that anything is possible. It has sparked the debate on the role of socio-economic development and the promotion of gender equality and empowerment in South Africa. Annually it keeps the role of women in the workplace on the minds of decision makers and business leaders.
The initiative has had a powerful impact on the lives of more than a million girls,
preparing a core of future women leaders who will be vibrant contributors to the economy and leading job creators for our country. Seeing the need for an initiative that helps young women further their education, and wanting to replace the “one day” concept with a legacy programme,
Cell C partnered with the Tomorrow Trust in 2013 to form the Cell C Girl Child Bursary Fund.To date, 30 girl learners from disadvantaged backgrounds have received bursaries to pursue Further Education and Training (FET). The fund has delivered twelve female graduates over the past two years and every one of them is successfully employed. Each of the young women has qualified in fields that include Law, Commerce and IT. Even more significant, each of them has become the first person in her family to graduate with a degree.
In 2015 Cell C established a Girl Child Institute of Mentorshipin which successful females seek to inspire girls and share their expertise and time. The focus is on celebrating individuality, parting essential life skills and to encourage confidence.
In 2014 Cell C received top honours in the ICT category at the prestigious 11th annual Standard Bank Top Women Awardsfor our gender empowerment initiatives, Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day, Cell C Girl Child Bursary Fund and the Girl Child Institute of Mentorship programme. The prestigious event celebrates inspirational female leaders as well as organisations for their outstanding performance in the world of business and government that focus on women empowerment in South Africa.
The Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day® initiative was recognised in October 2016as one of the unique interventions that seeks to address not only an ICT industry skills risk, but also a national risk of girls failing to take up the opportunities open to them in the corporate world which has an obvious effect on aggravating the skills shortage.
The award was given to Cell C in recognition of its contribution towards managing the Skills Shortage risk and addressing inequality. According to the Institute of Risk Management of South Africa (IRMSA), skills shortage is the third highest risk both on national and industry levels. The Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day® initiative was
lauded by Government in 2017 when Minister Susan Shabangu acknowledged the role Cell C and Corporate SA has played in promoting the girl child.In keeping with the theme of empowering women, the majority of Cell C’s workforce is female.
On 23 April 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa made a call to all South Africans to play their partto make South Africa a great nation and that government would like to see the private sector playing a role in contributing to the betterment of society. He commended Cell C for its contribution in the social investment space and for pioneering the “Take a Girl Child to Work” campaign.
In May 2018 Cell C announced its #MoreThanADay campaign,encouraging corporates to extend their support for girls to more than just once a year and consider increasing bursaries for young women. Cell C leads by hosting not one, but 4 workshops per annum for girls.
Cell C launches CellCgirl,an online platform that connects young women aged 14 to 19 with the aim to increase access to economic, employment and educational resources and opportunities. CellCgirl complements the legacy of Cell C Take A Girl Child To Work Day® and extends its mission to