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SMALL numbers of women in leadership positions has prompted university students to come together to discuss ways to change the situation.
This year about 60 finance students from universities across the country converged once again on Joburg for their annual Young Women in Finance conference.
The conference, which is supported by Investec, aims to bridge the gap between student life and the working environment for graduates by exposing students to business leaders who share their knowledge and expertise with them.
It also exposes female students to the challenges and opportunities that exist in the financial sector and provides them with a platform to interact with professionals and entrepreneurs in the financial services industry so that they gain insight into the industry and sharpen their leadership skills.
The initiative has attracted high-profile speakers and business leaders from a variety of fields, including Shirley Machaba, a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Nick Binedell, director of the Gordon Institute of Business Science, Phuti Malabie, managing director of Shanduka Group, and Sepanta Bagherpour, international marketing manager at Nandos.
It was established in 2005 by two UCT students.
Co-director of the Young Women in Finance 2009 Sisanda Tshiki said the conference allowed participants to engage on business challenges.
"Participants gain knowledge, discover new skills and engage with other talented young people."
Head of corporate affairs at Investec Carole Mason said while South Africa has come a long way, more still needed to be done "to generate true gender equality in the workplace".