Jackie Carroll encourages ambition and confidence in women

By Optimi | 31 Aug, 2022

Jackie Carroll has over 25 years of experience in the education field and uses that expertise to develop the excellent materials for the Media Works Adult Education training. Her passion as a citizen of South Africa is to see an improved quality of life for all. 


How does education for all lead to an improved quality of life for South Africans?

I am committed to the principles of quality education. As a citizen of South Africa, I firmly believe in quality education for all. I know that this results in an improved quality of life for all. Quality education assists in the reduction of unemployment and crime. Improving our education leads to greater economic benefits for South Africa.

At the higher levels, the development of better-skilled graduates, ready to meet the challenges of our ever-advancing economy. At the lower levels, increased literacy, and numeracy skills among the less educated, also deliver huge economic benefits. It creates the intellectual foundations for improved job performance, greater productivity, and higher-level learning. This in turn, enables a decent standard of living, as determined by the United Nations. 


How do we encourage more women to take on leadership positions? 

Young women today are perhaps more ambitious than any generation of women that have come before. They’re starting to take advantage of the opportunities available to them and make their marks as they proceed through the ranks. As they rise to positions of leadership, their ripple effect is enormous: they will likely continue to inspire the generations to come. This momentum cannot be lost. We must nurture young girls and women, support their role models, and give them room to excel. And we have to actively dismantle the perception that their contribution is somehow intangible or ephemeral. On the contrary, it is real and meaningful and necessary. 


What is something you love about being a woman in a leadership role?

There are numerous studies that indicate that women leaders are more empathetic, or that they are better communicators. We talk about the improved crisis and time management skills they demonstrate and how, by mentoring others, they lift girls and women out of poverty. Research highlights that women are more likely to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion, and to be allies to people of colour.  


How can we make education more accessible?

As we try to seek out solutions, we’ve learnt that educational content has to be available both online and offline. Children and adults need to be able to learn without consistent access to the internet, either because the content is downloadable, or because the platforms they use are zero-rated or reverse-billed. Blended learning is here to stay. Adult learners and their employers will likely never go back exclusively to in-person training.

While the support of facilitators remains critical, independent study has become the norm. Schools and education and training providers need to take this need on board as they design and implement their programmes. we need to acknowledge, in other words, that… Online learning is still the way to go. This will make education accessible.  


What advice can you give to young women starting out in business? 

Remember the women who built our democracy and celebrate those who contribute to it every single day, acknowledge the responsibilities women carry. We have a critical role to play in helping other women succeed in the workplace, and in calling for and facilitating reform where inequalities exist. After all, who better to drive the success of women than women who are already in positions of authority? Our unique insights into the challenges women face – politically, economically and culturally – make us ideally suited to address these areas and help women thrive professionally and economically. Be courageous, never give up and success will follow.