Encouraging women to be at the forefront by taking leadership roles in the group is the intention of the Matrix Communications Group (Matrix Group). The integrated marketing and communications investment group, which was established in September 2020, has taken a decision through this ethos to invest in the upliftment and advancement of women in the marketing, communications and research industries.
As testimony to this, the group appointed Dineo Mahloele as managing director and Tumi Makwela as client service director. Mahloele is a respected communication specialist with over 20 years of experience in corporate communications, as well as an entrepreneur. She believes women have the same skills as their male counterparts to spearhead a pan-African business. “I have seen and experienced the way women leaders always bring something special to an organisation. Working with a team that understands our vision as a group has helped us become a challenge group within the industry,” said Mahloele.
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women,” stated Makwela. Makwela’s main role is to ensure relationships are built and maintained within the group’s agencies and partners in order to retain current clients and attract new ones for the business to grow organically through collaborations. “‘Each one, Teach One’ is a motto I believe in, and it should be our role as women to impart knowledge to the world so as to leave it in a better state, and this is a role I do not take lightly,” said Makwela.
Added to this, the company has partnered with successful agencies that are led by women who have been in the marketing and communications industry for over two decades. One to note is African Response (AR), a successful research company based in Bryanston, led by Mamapudi Nkgadima. Nkgadima, a strategist and marketer at heart, has been at the helm of AR for the past 11 years and her agency has pioneered several research projects that unpack unique business opportunities, for example unpacking the dynamics of “Stokvels – the hidden economy”.
“Transitioning from founding and successfully running a small marketing and research strategic agency to being integrated into a global market research company, and ultimately, regaining the independence of African Response from being a minority black-owned entity, to being a 100% black- and majority women- owned medium-size entity has been one of my biggest joys and successes. Our industry is dominated by a few global agencies accountable for the largest percentage of market research spend from clients. Unless clients start to hold global research agencies accountable, the journey to creating a sustainable market research industry locally, managed by black females, will remain just a dream,” said Nkgadima.
Another veteran in the industry is Di Wilson, founder and CEO of Integer/Hotspot, a shopper and growth agency based in Rivonia, Johannesburg. “I am passionate about bringing in young people. I am truly excited about our industry and creating new thought leaders and a new generation of agency.
We need to come together and support one another so that we can inspire today’s youth to join our exciting industry,” said Wilson. Wilson’s agency is the exclusive SA partner for a leading tech UK-based global digital sampling company, SoPost.
Nosipho Ginindza is one of the younger, but more progressive leaders in the group. Ginindza is the acting managing director of SoulProviders Collective and she leads an edgy digital agency that is proud to have an all-female leadership team. The agency employs young, talented creatives and has experience in running campaigns within the continent.
“As women, we stand on the shoulders of other women, especially those who paved the way for us when it was not fashionable to do so. It is our responsibility to make sure that we hold other women’s hands and give them the necessary tools to achieve even bigger dreams than we have,” said Ginindza.
“Women should never be intimidated by men. They should always see themselves as pacesetters, trailblazers and pathfinders. They can achieve anything and attain any height they set their heart on. Setting high goals and developing a strong strategy to achieve them, as well as remaining focused on achieving them should be what motivates them,” said Lagos-based Ada Adheke, MD of Peacock Media. Adheke was nominated in the Women in Marketing Communication Awards (WIMCA) for Outstanding Female Media Independent Professional of the Year 2018, and Most Distinguished Amazon of Media (Public Relations) Sector in Nigeria in the year 2017, amongst others. She believes that women need to be taught and nurtured in the early stages of their careers.
The Matrix Group is proud to have a 60% female staff complement across its agency network and will continue to embrace diversity and be as inclusive as possible to ensure it pays it forward to those who come behind it.