Written by : Sibongile Radebe
If I were to describe the SWCM Women’s Day Colloquium in three words I would say it was ‘empowering, affirming, and all about sisterhood’. I was empowered by the theme of the day and the conversation led by trailblazers about the empowerment of women in the legal profession. It was affirming because everything that was discussed on that day somewhat reassured me that I am in the right place, that I am worthy of being in the legal field, and that everything in my life is unfolding as it should , and lastly, the reiteration of sisterhood, that having a community of women who are empowering each other is important, particularly if you want to go far in the legal profession.
The conversation was around passing the baton within the profession and how important woman empowerment is in the legal industry, and one thing that Justice Tshiqi said that stood out to me is how important vulnerability is, and that “in order for us to learn we should have humility and be prepared to learn”. This stood out to me because the legal profession is usually construed as a profession that requires you to have a tough exterior and a certain level of arrogance in order to succeed, but hearing another woman who has accomplished so much in her legal career testify that it is okay to be humble and vulnerable, really hit.
Another topic that was touched on, which I enjoyed and found to be very beneficial, was how to deal with imposter syndrome. As someone that has struggled with imposter syndrome and continues to struggle with it, I really loved when Ms. Madi shared tips on how she manages it, she said that she tries to do things that are in her control and accepts that there will be some things that are beyond her control. I also loved how she mentioned that she reads self-help books and listens to podcasts to help her deal with imposter syndrome because these are some of the rituals, I also use to help affirm myself and deal with imposter syndrome.
The Colloquium for me was a life-affirming and empowering event that I never knew I needed until I attended it and I am so grateful to my SWCM family that I got to be part of the event and experience it first-hand.