SECZ pushes for women participation in capital markets

RUTENDO RORI

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) has stepped up efforts to encourage women to participate more on the country’s capital markets, a situation which has the potential to lead to greater prosperity and sustainable development.

“The world is missing out on the contribution of a key and significant stakeholder [which is the woman]. This is an anomaly which must be corrected deliberately. That’s why access to education for girls and young women is a priority,” SECZ head of investor education, Farai Mpofu, told Business Times this week.

She added: “This support will translate to greater numbers overall and with a STEM / STEAM focus there will be more candidates for jobs and businesses which are in fields outside the perceived natural domain for women. The capital markets fall into this category, therefore the Commission believes the profiling of this industry to attract women candidates is important and urgent. That way the markets and the nation will benefit from the positives that emanate from diversity and inclusion.”  

Last week, SECZ organised a virtual meeting for women in capital markets, meant to encourage women to invest in Zimbabwe’s capital markets.

Several speakers at the virtual meeting encouraged women to counter the perception that investing on the capital markets was for the rich or those with high disposable income and is something that requires a high intelligence quotient.

Speakers encouraged women to start investing even starting with very little amounts of money.

A retail investor, Rumbidzai Dahwa-Chaavure, who shared her experience in the local capital markets, urged women to invest in the capital markets.

Chaavure said she has now become an avid and active retail investor on the capital markets.

“The key elements I usually look at include the company’s performance over the last few years (ideally going back at least five years), whether it has grown in terms of its earnings, the strategy model and how much of it has been implemented, management competence and ethics, analyst comments and the company’s dividend policy,” Chaavure said.

She added: “When looking at dividend policy this encompasses, when they last paid dividends to shareholders, how often they pay dividends, and their short and medium plans which determine if they will be paying dividends or reinvesting funds they have.

“In investing, you get as much as you put in. An individual is more likely to gain favourable returns if he or she invests more.  My short-term investment yielded tangible benefits that were sufficient for me to acquire a new vehicle. For my long term investments, I set aside a percentage of my salary.”

Tevian Chauraya, a senior equities dealer at Old Mutual Securities, also encouraged women to participate in the capital markets.

 “Being an investor involves trial and error, and one gains experience and confidence over time,” she said.

An investment manager, Simbiso Musa, who boasts of 11 years of investing on the capital markets described herself as risk-averse adding that becoming a successful investor was a skill honed over time.

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