The GLAMOUR Women’s Month Series is an ode to women who are following the beat of their drum and doing it successfully.
Superwoman. That’s what Lesedi Mashale Instagram biography says, and she is exactly that. Mashale is a Marketer, PR and brand specialist, as well as a businesswoman. She has a history of working in the FMCG, wine and spirits industry.
Mashale has successfully worked in Brand Management, Public Relations, Influencer Management, Market Research, Integrated Marketing, Content Development and Advertising for brands such as Diaego SA, SAB, Unilever, Samsung, just to name a few. With a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Business/Commerce, General from Wits Business School, Mashale who also owns Moriri by Lesedi, a distributor of premium virgin human hair extensions, lace units & amp; wigs, is not stopping her magic anytime soon.
GLAMOUR got a chance to chat to Mashale for a few minutes for this series and we are super stoked.
Which woman has positively impacted you in your career/business? And what is the one lesson she taught you?
Several women have had a positive impact on my career and shared similar sentiments. Refilwe Maluleke, Zumi Njongwe, Kudzi Mathabire, Refilwe and Mickey Mashale. The biggest lesson I have taken from them is to pay it forward. It is important to actively work to support others and extend kindness to other women in the workplace. Corporate is tough and can almost be described as a system not built to support us. We need to look after each other
What are the three words that spring to mind when you hear Women's Day/Month?
To you, what is the most beautiful thing about being a woman?
A woman is complex, multi-faceted and blessed with an abundance of skills all at the same time. All the women I know occupy more than one role in their family, work and social circles. Being a woman is powerful. We are born as nurturers and with a caring nature that we express to those around us and by the work, we put in. Without women, our current comfortable realities would cease to exist.
In your industry or in general, have you seen any more movement to gender equality in the workplace?
In PR I feel the profession has mostly transformed and more women are agency owners or the lead strategists on projects.
As a woman who looks to inspire young girls that look like you what are some of the measures you think should be put in place to assure young girls have an equal say in society?
Women need to be treated and acknowledge as equal. Equal in stature, pay and opportunities. Words in the absence of actions that benefit us are futile.
With Black Lives Matter being at the forefront and black people calling out racism and transformation. What do you think we can teach the next generation about inclusion and representation?
Racism is taught. No one is born hating another. Society cannot benefit from a mindset that doesn’t recognise the beauty in others.
Gender-Based Violence (GBV) especially women and children abuse has been prevalent in the country for a very long time and there have been various initiatives that speak to this but the scourge of abuse continues at a large scale, what would you advise as a solution going forward? And who should be involved?
Men should be accountable for their actions and hold others responsible as well. Society constantly teaches us to learn how to defend ourselves, how to dress, seat etc to avoid. Men should be taught how to be respectful of others including females, extend decency to those that aren’t their direct family members. I could go on really. In addition to this Government needs to take a stronger stance on GBV in our country. Perpetrators are roaming free while women have to calculate even the most basic of movement when leaving the house
What does women’s month mean to you and what would you like to be done to push or commemorate this month?
Women’s Month is a great time to reflect on the power of women. The ability to unite 20 000 women behind ideology and believing that you can influence change is significant. We need to be constantly reminded of this fearless spirit and replicate it in several spheres of our lives, consistently.
As a modern African woman, who is a powerhouse in her own right, how do you manoeuvre the African expectations for what Africa believes a woman should be, particularly in countries that are rooted in patriarchy like ours?
While this exists in our country luckily my parents shielded us somewhat from this ideology. For instance, when seeing relatives my Dad is the first one to say ‘should anyone ask why you aren’t married either say you are focused on working or direct them to me’. I was also raised in a household with very strong women so I can’t subscribe to other people’s ideologies over my life. Any man that comes into my life needs to understand we engage on a mutually respectable level.
What are some of the great possibilities about being a woman in the world right now, that may not be easy to see but you feel women should take full advantage of without being ashamed or afraid?
Right now there is an even greater need for women to step into positions of leadership. The actions of female leaders in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Taiwan have resulted in a minimised impact of the pandemic in their respective countries. Women lead differently and the world is going through a significant moment of reflection. Take advantage of this opportunity and step up to the challenge. Our time is now.
The imposter syndrome is something a lot of women confess to suffering from or have suffered from. Have you ever had to deal with it? What would you say to another woman reading this about not letting the syndrome run one’s life in any way?
Oh absolutely. It is one of the worst things to experience. I would say to women we are taught to work harder but criticise ourselves more and this unfortunate. Learn to acknowledge your learning process and own all the experience you bring to the table as well. You deserve to be there otherwise you wouldn’t be. Stay calm and back yourself
How has self-care contributed to the woman you are in all facets of your life? Why is self care important, particularly for women, as most of us are raised to believe we put everyone else first before ourselves?
Self-care is such a great reminder that you cannot pour from an empty cup. It teaches you that you need to slow down, refuel and focus on you. To your point, we are taught to look after others and sometimes more than ourselves. More than being deserving of ‘self-care’ it is something we should be raised on. Its also so easy to get caught up in the motions of life, self-care is implementing a much-needed process of self-love.