17-10-2011 – THE saying goes “behind every successful man is a woman” and the good, old hackneyed phrase will manifest itself again when South Africa...


THE saying goes “behind every successful man is a woman” and the good, old hackneyed phrase will manifest itself again when South Africa Rugby Union (Saru) hit Nelson Mandela Bay in preparation for the upcoming Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens World Series tournament.

Media and marketing officials – mostly women – have been hard at work since July this year planning the fun-filled, fast and exciting two-day event on 9-10 December – heralded as carnival rugby.
Tickets will go on sale via Computicket tomorrow (SUBS: Tuesday, October 18 2011) after a media ticket launch held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The launch will be attended by high-level rugby and municipal officials, “Blitzbokke” coach Paul Treu, two former Springbok Sevens captains and current EP Kings players, Mpho Mbiyozo and Mzwandile Stick, former Proteas cricket star Makhaya Ntini and former Springbok Team Manager Zola Yeye.
“After months of waiting for the out-come of the bid to host the South African leg of the IRB7s HBSC World Series, it is finally a reality. Hours have been spent attending communication and marketing meetings – mainly with women colleagues – strategising and planning to ensure that over the next four years – including 2014 – Nelson Mandela Bay is aggressively promoted via the event as a preferred tourism and sport events destination,” said Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO Mandlakazi Skefile.
Skefile and her – wait for it – mostly female team have worked closely with Saru marketing manager Sarah Mundy of Cape Town.
Mundy, who has worked at Saru for six years says: “I come from a sporting background. Working in a male-dominated environment has not been difficult at all. When you understand sport, it is all about the game. At the end of the day…gender actually makes no difference to me.  I have learnt to believe in myself, my skills, talents and uniqueness. I therefore view those challenges (male-dominated environment) as opportunities.”
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality PR and Events Coordinator Derusha Rangasamy is also no stranger to working in a often male-dominated environment: “The municipality isn’t a male-dominated workforce. Our policy is to promote and implement equal opportunity job creation.”
However, Rangasamy said while delivering on tasks for NMBM she often finds herself in rooms cluttered with suits. “In dealing with men in a work environment, I don’t differentiate between them and women. That enables me to ensure that there is delivery regardless of gender.”
While teetering over the immaculate manicured Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium pitch for a photograph donned in her EP Kings rugby jersey, Rangasamy quipped that she is probably the first “woman” in stiletto shoes to “run out” for the Kings.
So, fact or fiction. Is the world of media and marketing female dominated? And if so does that explain why communicating and marketing the IRB7s event rests heavily on the shoulders of women. Local media and communication specialist Traci Mackie said: “According to research
entitled The Glass Ceiling: Men and Women in Southern Africa Media, which presented data and findings from 126 media houses, women in the media are said to make a difference when it comes to balanced coverage. However, the Glass Ceiling research found that the sector is still largely male-dominated, but that women in media clearly bring so much to media.
“That being said, I believe a strong presence of women playing a media and marketing role in a male-dominated sector, in this case sport, will certainly ensure that media and marketing strategies implemented while selling to a male target market are not – as sometimes is the case – demeaning to women.”
*Sixteen countries participate in the fast-paced and hugely popular international tournament which has clinched its place as a crowd puller after its inclusion as an Olympic sport from 2016. Teams participating include the Arabian Gulf, Australia, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, United States, Wales, and Zimbabwe.

News editor