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Handy platform for women to thrive in business [Star, The (South Africa)]
[June 26, 2014]

Handy platform for women to thrive in business [Star, The (South Africa)]

(Star, The (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Female representation in business has long been a source of debate in the market, especially in traditionally male-dominated industries such as auditing and accounting.

Martina Laurie, however, believes there has been significant progress made in addressing imbalances. This, she says, is evident, in the rise of women-owned and managed enterprises.

"With the focus of the market on expected start-up influence and projected growth in numbers of start-up operations, there is now a concerted effort to help build the profile of women in the workplace," she says.

A chartered accountant by profession, Laurie is the chief executive of mobile massage and wellness services specialist company Hands On Treatment. She is an example of how one can decide on a complete change in career and grow a successful commercial enterprise within an entirely different sector.

In April, Laurie won the Women-Owned Enterprise Award at the second annual South African Premier Business Awards. This was in recognition for her achievement and proven success in establishing a fully-fledged business and also for the impact she has had via her skills development and training programme primarily aimed at young women.

Her company provides |on-site neck and shoulder chair massage service to the corporate sector, covering specialised labour-intensive areas such as call centres, events and exhibitions, among others.

Hands On Treatment's established in-house training programme has been running for 10 years. It also has a partnership in place with the Services Seta. According to the terms of the partnership, the Seta pays a portion of teach intern's salary and Hands on Treatment takes in four candidates as trainee therapists per six-month period.

Applicants are predominantly women living in informal settlements located within a 20km radius of Craighall, Joburg, as well as the city centre and Braamfontein. The employment strategy is focused on the youth and most of the therapists employed are under the age of 35. To date, the company has assisted more than 500 women with training and employment.

"We can say with confidence that there are measures in place and hard work being done to address the need for greater levels of female representation across key sectors," says Laurie. "Our job is to facilitate skills development to further enhance the process of empowerment." l For more information, visit or e-mail martina@handson| The Star (c) 2014 Independent Newspapers (Pty) Limited. All rights strictly reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (

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