SHARE THIS STORY
Head: Global Markets International, Corporate and Investment Banking
How should women show up for and support each other in the work environment?
We should create space for one another to let our voices be heard and positively highlight how different we are.
“There’s this monolithic view that African women, for example, are all the same – that one of us speaks for the masses. It’s just not true. Let’s not be afraid to highlight the great tapestry of women’s different thoughts, experiences, and expertise.”
Given how few of us there are, we should also be teaching each other, and stepping into the gaps for each other when needed, especially in corporate and leadership.
How do you balance motherhood with being a working professional woman?
Balance is a wonderful idea/concept to aspire to. For me, creating balance with a high-paced job and children requires constantly creating solutions and managing different needs. It’s a constant process. Sometimes certain areas of life get more attention than others, so I accept that as my reality, but at times it can be very difficult. You feel like you’re overprioritising work, and then when you try to correct that, you feel like your work may suffer. So, if you’re not careful, you can get stuck in this men- tal tug of war. Being in a senior role can heighten that. The lesson I’m trying to learn is to really pace myself better, manage my uncompromising ‘red line’ priorities, and to keep pushing ahead. My North Star remains my faith and my family – without them, none of this is worth it.
How can male corporate leaders be allies, fostering and growing women leaders?
The contribution of men is critical. Men and women alike, who are truly interested in lifting others up, can form a powerful force for change; the more we help each other, the better for women and society. We need to work hand in hand for the equality, growth, and nurturing of women leaders. More men fostering partnerships and stepping in as sponsors, also makes for a more wholesome understanding of women in corporate leadership, encouraging further sponsorship of women.
Is there a trait that every leader should have?
Wise compassion – my faith principle of doing unto others as you would have done to you. Some may see compassion as a sign of weakness or slow judgement, i.e., an inability to make the tough decisions or to take swift decisive actions. But that is not the case – I actually think it creates quite the opposite effect, as you’re focused on growth and your team achieving the best You have to get comfortable with that being fine and not pivoting to other people’s way of leading. I think in the long run, wise compassion pays it dues.
What is your proudest professional achievement thus far?
In my previous role, I was part of a team that started and developed the Africa franchise for a global investment bank. I had many firsts in that role – driving the business strategy, opening new markets, and closing new types of transactions. I also became one of the first African female managing directors of the bank. More exciting to me now, is the platform I have joined at Standard Bank – I believe this to be a culmination of those efforts and my role now gives me a great platform to build out a business once again, but on a greater scale with the support of a great team.
At this stage of your life, what does success look like?
Success to me is a combination of being joyful in what I do and succeeding in what I set out to achieve; working with people I constantly learn from, but who I can also laugh with, and, being able to create, develop and deliver a plan that leads to sustainable growth.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
You are enough. In fact, you are more than enough, so just take that shot because you are incredible.