Pretoria – Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa has launched the Executive Development Programme at the UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership.
The programme is aimed at redressing the skewed socio-economic landscape of the tourism industry, with the objective to capacitate black women managers within the tourism sector.
The Department of Tourism says the majority of employees in the tourism sector are women and many of them are still relegated to kitchens, cleaning departments and front desks.
To address the slow progression of black women in the tourism sector, the Tourism Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Charter Council recommended that the department should partner with a distinguished South African business school to provide an Executive Development Programme (EDP) for black women managers in the tourism sector.
The programme is aimed at building strong business skills and leadership capabilities among women in the tourism sector so they can become leaders, entrepreneurs and industrialists.
In 2011, the department conducted an independent study to assess the state of transformation in the tourism sector. The study found a low percentage of women at board and executive management levels of large enterprises in the tourism sector.
The finding was attributed to the unavailability of black women managers in the sector with the required qualifications, skills profile and experience for promotion to executive management and board positions.
On 16 February 2016, the department appointed the University of South Africa (UNISA) Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) to develop and run the course for black women managers in the tourism sector.
The programme covers modules such as strategic financial management, global business environment, managing organisational performance, contemporary leadership, advanced destination and strategic marketing, advanced strategic tourism management and the executive tourism project.
The pilot for the programme will run for 12 months, starting with an intake of 20 black women in July 2016. The department aims to train close to 100 black women managers over a five-year period. Tuition fees and other study materials for the EDP will be fully covered by the department.
The programme is targeted at black female employees, who are at junior or middle management levels. Upon successful completion of this programme, graduates will be conferred with a National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 8 qualification.
Participants will be allowed to proceed to further post graduate studies such as the Post Graduate Diploma in Tourism Management, a degree in the field of tourism or entry into a related Bachelor’s degree to allow for further specialisation in this field.