As part of the International Council for Science (ICSU) Regional workshop in Africa for the project “A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical and Natural Sciences: How to Measure It, How to Reduce It?” which took place on 1 to 2 December 2017 at AIMS South Africa, a special women mentoring session for students was organised by AIMS South Africa Women in STEM. The theme of the session was “Phenomenal Women in Science” which aligned with ICSU workshop goals.

The session was aimed at providing AIMS women students and researchers with an informal opportunity to interact with workshop delegates who are leading professionals in science. The discussion was centred around personal qualities and values that women should manage to be a go-getter, successful, smart, role model, mentor, and a person who can balance work and life.

During the event, our guest Prof. Zingiswa Jojo from the Department of Mathematics Education at UNISA advised women students to reach out to other people for help, and build themselves such that they can be able to plough back to their community and empower other girls in their countries. Also, she suggested that students should enrich their knowledge through reading relevant books for example “Disciplines of a beautiful woman” by Anne Ortlund and “Own Your space” by Lori Milner.

Our destiny lies in our hands and Prof. Jojo emphasised that “Take a journey into the self and allow the academic journey to shape, shake, mould you, design you, discover talents in you and reach out to the destinies you were meant for.”

The session was enjoyed and appreciated by the 12 participants which included twelve students, three workshop delegates Prof. Igle Gledhill (CSIR, workshop organiser), Prof. Zingiswa Jojo (UNISA) and Dr Zara Randriamanakoto (UCT), six AIMSWIS members Dr Rejoyce Gavhi-Molefe, Ms Mirette Fawzy, Ms Julia Borchardt, Ms Zoe Hamel, Ms Innocenter Amima and Ms Bathata Masego.