Female workforce 2023: Why hard & soft skills need investment
14 Apr, 2023

Co-founders of Yugrow: Yolanda Nobanda – COO and Kele Boakgomo – CEO


HR ecosystems need to expand their support to include soft skills development for authentic bottom-line impact from their female workforce.

Yugrow’s behavioural tech platform is working with corporations and combining technology and innovation to enable women to grow in their careers and their personal lives and unlock their full potential.


Many companies are investing an increasing amount of time and money supporting the development of their female employees. But, despite these efforts, this isn’t translating into a proportionate level of their promotion and retention within the company’s ranks. A quick look at South Africa’s JSE directors demonstrates this – only 15% of executive directors of JSE-listed companies are women, according to PwC’s 2022 Executive Directors Practices and Remuneration Trends Report.


“Limited career progress options are impacting the level of engagement and performance many women are investing into their careers,” explains Kele Boakgomo, CEO and co-founder of Yugrow, a behavioural tech platform for women. “Because of this, women are choosing to leave organisations prematurely and are even downshifting their careers in favour of the pursuit of more personal fulfilment.”


Global statistics are supporting this narrative. The 2022 PwC Women in Work index fell for the first time in 10 years as more women than men left the labour market during the pandemic. PwC said that increasing women’s employment rates across the OECD could boost GDP by US$6 trillion per annum. And, McKinsey’s 2022 Women in the Workplace survey indicated that women are demanding more from work and leaving their companies in order to get it. The research indicates they are more likely to experience headwinds such as having their judgement questioned or not being recognised. Women want a better work culture, McKinsey said.


In South Africa, a behavioural tech platform called Yugrow which has been built by women for women, is working with a number of corporations to address both sides of the issue. By combining technology and innovation, Yugrow is enabling thousands of women to drive growth in both their careers and their personal lives and enabling them to increasingly unlock their full potential in the workplace.



“We understand these barriers and that women’s experience in the workplace are significantly different to that of their male counterparts, which can affect their mental health wellbeing, engagement and performance,” says Boakgomo. “By integrating behavioural tech, like Yugrow, into a company’s HR ecosystem, we’re able to tackle the issue from both sides.”


“There is growing evidence that paying attention to factors such as the development and support of women and environmental, social and governance issues is resulting in improved profitability and sustainability. We believe firmly that supporting female employees is critical to the long-term success of businesses and the women they employ,” says Yugrow co-founder and COO Yolanda Nobanda.


Accenture, which is one of two large corporations that have already signed on to Yugrow, was recently recognised as the number one Top Employer in South Africa for 2023 by the Top Employer’s Institute.


“We believe that it is not just about increasing women’s employment rates but also about retaining them and ensuring they are happy and fulfilled in their work, while companies provide the environment in which they can thrive,” Nobanda concludes.





@Yolanda Nobanda
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@Kele Boakgomo
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