2021 Contributors

Contributors to the Women’s Report are experts on their respective topics and are invited to write about issues of importance related to the theme of the Report. The WR2021 focuses on decent childcare as a means of enabling women to participate more fully in formal economic activity. When a mother knows that her child is safe, educationally stimulated, socially well adjusted, and receiving good nutrition, she is enabled to contribute her skills and talents to employment, entrepreneurship, education, and business development.

Ms Jennifer Smout

Paper 1: COVID-19 and women’s care responsibilities: Opportunities for transforming gender relations

Jen Smout is a feminist writer and researcher based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has spent a decade working in the field of gender equality and women’s rights for civil society, the South African parliament, international development organisations, and the donor community. Jen has a Master’s degree in politics with distinction from Rhodes University, and in creative writing from the University of Cape Town. When she is not working on gender assessments and research, she writes fiction and edits essay collections under the name Jen Thorpe. Her first novel, The Peculiars (2016), was long-listed for the Etisalat Prize for Literature (2016) and the Sunday Times Fiction Prize (2017). Her second novel, The Fall, was published in July 2020. She has edited three collections of feminist essays: My First Time: Stories of Sex and Sexuality from Women Like You (Modjaji, 2012), Feminism is: South Africans Speak their Truth (Kwela, 2018), and Living while Feminist (Kwela, 2020).

Prof. Zitha Mokomane

Paper 2: Are South Africa’s childcare policies serving women’s economic participation?

Zitha Mokomane holds a PhD in demography from the Australian National University and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pretoria. Her research focus is areas of work–family interface and social policy analysis, and she has consulted widely in these areas. She is the founder and current Chair of the African Research Network on Work and Family.

Ms Laura Brooks

Paper 3: Early childhood care and education can boost women’s employment in South Africa

Laura Brooks is a Senior Manager at Ilifa Labantwana, an organisation working to secure an equal start for all children in South Africa through universal access to quality early childhood development. She has a Master’s degree in Economics from UCT, which she attended as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, and a BA(Hons) from Rhodes University in her home town of Makhanda. Prior to joining Ilifa Labantwana, Laura worked in the private sector as a development economist, delving into a variety of social justice fields, including financial inclusion, violence against women and children, and now, early childhood development. Her driving motivation is a commitment to improving the lives of South Africa’s most vulnerable people.

Prof. Mark Smith

Paper 4: Childcare and being a stay-at-home dad

Mark Smith is Director-elect at the Stellenbosch Business School (SA). He is former Faculty Dean & Professor of Human Resource Management at Grenoble Ecole de Management (FR). At Grenoble, he was Faculty Dean (2016–2020), Director of the Doctoral School (2013–2016), Head of Department (2012–2013), and research team leader of “Work Life Careers” (2012–2015). Prior to working in France, he worked at Manchester Business School (UK). His research interests are careers and labour market policy, specifically outcomes for women and men, including working conditions, working time, and work–life integration. He has authored or co-authored over 50 books, book chapters, and journal articles. He publishes regularly in the media about his research and the management of business schools. He has also been a member of the editorial board of Work, Employment & Society.

Mr Lunga Tukani

Paper 5: Managers’ perceptions when hiring stay-at-home mothers

Lunga Tukani is a Chartered Accountant (CA (SA)) and current Head of Internal Audit for Sovereign Foods. Prior to this role, he was the Chief Financial Officer at Letaba TVET College. He is passionate about education, and serves on boards of non-profit education organisations. He has completed an MBA with the Stellenbosch Business School, and is the originator of Kwande Craft Gin. Lunga has six Comrades Marathon finishes under his belt.

Prof. Anita Bosch

Paper 5: Managers’ perceptions when hiring stay-at-home mothers

Anita holds the Stellenbosch Business School Research Chair dedicated to the study of women at work. She has a PhD from the School of Management of the University of Southampton (UK) and is a Professor at the Business School, where she teaches in the organisational behaviour and leadership tracks. She is a non-executive director of the National Business Initiative, a voluntary coalition working towards sustainable growth and development in South Africa. She is the editor of the annual Women’s Report, and has published numerous public reports, articles, and book chapters on diversity and women’s issues. Anita regularly engages in public forums in print, online, and broadcast media.

Are you interested in contributing to the next Women’s Report? Do you have meaningful insights and research to share on women and their impact on business and society? We want to hear from you.

The Annual Women’s Report e-publication is proudly sponsored by the Stellenbosch Business School and is distributed in association with the South African Board for People Practices.