Neglecting women in sport is a missed opportunity for corporate SA

Neglecting women in sport is a missed opportunity for corporate SA

South Africa needs to invest more in women in sport, says Motshidisi Mohono, a household name in local and international sports broadcasting.

She says women in sport are delivering good returns, yet they struggle just to get paid, “never mind the gender pay-parity”.

Motshidisi says the argument that women have less “crowd pulling factor” than men does not hold water.

“If we invest in these sporting codes where women are active and delivering results, surely the numbers at stadiums will swell and that is when we will see an even better return on investment,” says Motshidisi.

In South Africa there are many sporting codes that enjoy massive support, with big sponsors.

However, Motshidisi says there needs to be more support trickling down to women in sport.

She says this is a missed investment opportunity for corporate SA.

“Pay women well enough so that they do not have to worry about side hustles. Women in sport are not getting the financial support they deserve,” says Motshidisi, who is most famous for her role as a Rugby presenter/anchor.

A combination of factors led to Motshidisi being exposed to rugby at a young age, including the dual-medium school (English and Afrikaans) she attended. Rugby was one of the main sports at the school.

Motshidisi says the battle for equality in sport should start early, by introducing more women to the entire value chain, including behind the scenes work.

She says the arrival of the Hollard sponsored Sport Industry Awards has seen people who work behind the scene get recognition.

“In order to get more people, women in particular, to show up at these events where women are under the spotlight, we need to expose them from an early age,” says Motshidisi.

“Those who know about it are those who have seen it, but there is a need for more young people to be exposed to it.

“There is a lot of value to be realised from the sports industry in South Africa. Our country is a bit more developed in this field. We just need to direct resources evenly between women and men.”

Motshidisi is an accounting graduate turned broadcaster. She says she did not always dream of becoming a TV broadcaster.

“My biggest drive when I was younger, was to be financially independent and be less of a burden to my parents. So I went to the one discipline that is traditionally associated with better financial rewards – accounting,” says Motshidisi.

“I grew up in Katlehong and TV presenting did not look like a possibility for me. What I knew was that I am good with numbers,” says Motshidisi.

Despite her initial apprehension, she was eventually drawn to broadcasting.

Motshidisi auditioned for a few roles on radio until she landed a role in radio broadcasting.

“My big break in TV came through SuperSport blitz, where I landed a role as a journalist,” says Motshidisi.”

She attributes her success to her passion for people and telling their stories.

“You need the passion that goes beyond that stuff that comes with the job, like fame and money,” says Motshidisi.

“That stuff will not get you up in the morning. Deep passion for sport and people, telling the story of people, that is what this business is all about,” says Motshidisi.

The renowned sport commentator/anchor says she is encouraged to see companies like Hollard invest in other parts of the value chain in South Africa’s sporting industry.

“This has been a tough year for creatives in the supporting industry. However, there is great value in getting into these spaces, and with the right support they will bounce back,” says Motshidisi.

She flew the flag for women in sport when she officiated at this years’ Hollard-sponsored Sport Industry Awards, which recognise those working behind the scenes to promote sporting heroes.

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