Women in the Banking Sector – How our learnerships empower women in banking

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Women in the Banking Sector – How our learnerships empower women in banking


Women make up 60% of banking employees in South Africa, despite perceptions of it being a male dominated industry. Males, however, still dominate the top echelons. It is only through the empowerment of education, that women can break through this glass ceiling that has held them back in the past from advancing on the corporate ladder.

Meesha Jagjiwan, a recent ACBS graduate, said, “The transformative power of education cannot be overstated, it opens doors for more employment opportunities, which leads to increased income and less isolation at home in making financial decisions. Education not only empowers women with the knowledge and skills to build a career and climb the corporate ladder, it allows us to follow our dreams and achieve our goals.” Learnerships allow women who would not normally have access to higher education the opportunity to grab the next rung in that ladder. “Learnerships create equal opportunities and the skills and knowledge acquired from these programmes allow for the levelling of the playing field, encouraging woman to enjoy equal opportunities,” said Lucille Cerfontein, a HCBS graduate. Learnerships allow students to achieve a full academic qualification while gaining work experience.

The learnership journey is not an easy one, Rukshana Rahim, another HCBS graduate, says: ““Wow! Study now? How am I going to do this being married, a working mum of two and I haven’t studied in years.” However, she carries on, “After lots of effort, dedication, discipline, support and yes, some tears, I am so grateful that I have gone through this journey.  It has truly empowered me as a woman and my career in the banking industry.”

That thought is echoed by all the recent graduates that we asked to comment.

“Going into my learnership, I never realised the doors it would open for me. Upon completing my Milpark qualification, opportunities I never knew existed were presented to me, where I have been and continued to be exposed to different facets within the financial services industry. […] It has been worth it” Angela Lubuulwa, ACBS

“Being empowered by the knowledge gained having completed this learnership, has given me the confidence boost I needed professionally, as well as personally. I am now able to “show” up differently, more positive and stronger. To get the recognition for the value I add in the work place is the cherry on top.” Lucille Cerfontein, HCBS

“It has made me more confident with my clients. It has taught me how to think out of the box, have more in depth, meaningful and impactful interactions. Now I understand the true meaning of knowledge is power.” Rukshana Rahim HCBS

“Acquiring the necessary qualifications enhances your CV and coupled with experience, empowers you to grow in your chosen career path. It ensures that as a woman you have equal advantage to any position that presents itself.” Pranashinee Gopaul, HCBS

“This was the best decision of my life. A few months after registering I was faced with a career hurdle, my position was being restructured but due to the qualification i have achieved over the years, I was able to secure my current position as a Private Wealth Banker.” Meesha Jagjiwan, ACBS

Studies have shown that when women are educated, their children are also likely to be educated, which brings lasting value to society. The graduates also emphasised this legacy:

“It is my sincere wish that women now stand proudly and exult their womanhood, to form an alliance with fellow male counterparts together in harmony, to make the world a better place for future generations.” Corrie Pieterse, ACBS

“I am very passionate about women empowerment and live this in my everyday life. I strive to encourage other women and young girls to study hard and to always remain relevant by furthering their education” Meesha Jagjiwan, ACBS

“As a mother of 2 beautiful daughters, I truly believe that I am, and will be an inspiration to them.” Lucille Cerfontein, HCBS

Many expressed gratitude to their employers for the opportunity and some are moving ahead on new learnerships to achieve higher qualifications.

To conclude with Rukshana Rahim, “Take that leap, be excited about the journey to empowerment, if you feel uncomfortable it’s okay too, it just means that you are stepping out of your comfort zone. I’ve learned that it’s never too late to start and your potential is limitless.”

A better future is out there if you are willing to grasp it. Ask your employer about the possibilities of learnerships in your organisation and grow to your extraordinary life.


23 Aug 2021