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Judy Dlamini: Women must work 3 times harder in patriarchal societies

Women must work three times harder than men to prove themselves in the existing patriarchal society, according to leading businesswoman Dr Judy Dlamini.

A medical doctor by training, Dlamini is also a philanthropist and author of a book entitled Equal but Different. She was recently elected as chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand. She was one of the motivational speakers at business women’s breakfast hosted by FNB and Smile 90.4FM in Cape Town on Wednesday.

“You get success by working hard. I have always been passionate about equality. I want to make sure we kill social injustice, especially related to gender issues,” she said.

“I am not the brightest, but I pursued education. It gives you options. Ambition is more important than IQ. Focus and hard work make you unstoppable.”


According to Dlamini, it is okay to defer your dreams, but do not cut them. Pursue them later when time allows you to.

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough. One can use education to change your context,” she emphasised.

“Reinvent yourself by investing in yourself. For me that is using education. Education has empowered me and empowered the children we support.”

Other aspects needed for success, in her view, include having a positive mindset to overcome challenges and building networks with people who can open doors for you when they believe in you. There were such people who opened doors for her. For her it is important for business women to have a good “eco system” in their partners and extended family as a support.

“Know yourself and your strengths. Do not pigeon hole yourself. Empower yourself,” she advised.

Pay gap

She acknowledged the gender pay gap that still exists but suggests that women challenge the status quo.

“Women often just accept what they get paid, while men challenge it,” she said.

“Happiness is a mindset. Finding your purpose and living it is what success means for me.”

Lastly, she made a call for women to try and empower those less fortunate than themselves.




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