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Head: Legal, Investment Banking, Africa Regions, Corporate and Investment Banking
Why is “Why she leads” important?
It’s important, because as leaders, particularly women leaders, we are ambassadors for a future generation of women who look to us to know that “It Can Be”.
What are the biggest contributors to your success?
Authenticity and hard work. It’s too exhausting to be someone you’re not and you only allow people to see what really drives you and what you are passionate about when you are being you. Be prepared to put in time and effort. Success doesn’t come without putting in the work, pushing the boundaries, sleep deprivation, failure, uncomfortable con- versations and an eagerness to learn – all of this has played a part in getting me to where I am now.
What are challenges that women leaders face, especially in financial services?
Sadly, there are still a number of barriers, most notably gender bias and stereotypes, prevalent in the workplace. Even if barriers are unconscious ones, they hinder effective women leadership.
Why is women leadership so important?
Diverse perspectives in any organisation are critical for remaining relevant, profitable and adaptable. Women bring a different energy, perspective and emotion to an organisation that should be embraced, rather than shut down. Women were created differently, not inferior to men.
What role can male corporate leaders play to foster and grow women leaders?
We need more men as advocates, mentors and sponsors of women in organisations. Men need to visibly show their support. Men who are more inclusive and proactively collaborate with women have the opportunity to see a different perspective or a different solution to a problem.
Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome?
I think most women do, because we are our own worst enemies – we constantly question our ability or inability to do things. In my career, I’ve suffered such severe imposter syndrome that it completely disabled me from functioning optimally. I realised I needed support to work through the overwhelming feelings with the help of a life coach. I wasn’t aware that imposter syndrome can manifest in different ways – it includes the pursuit of unattainable perfectionism, working all the time, not being able to accept a compliment, always doubting your ability and/or the solution you put forward. It can lead to burnout, so my advice is: don’t let the imposter in!
What is the connection between leadership and mentorship?
I see them as being closely linked. Leadership naturally manifests into mentorship and vice versa. Leaders guide individuals as well as organisations and strategy. Mentors assist mentees to understand the bigger picture and how organisations work.
How should women show up for and support each other in the work environment?
As women in leadership positions, it’s incumbent upon us to promote and uplift others. Women often aren’t advocates for other women and they can be quite judgemental. We should stop this and refuse to engage in destructive behaviour.
“Every woman should be the network, the mentor, or the sponsor for other women. We cannot rely solely on men.”
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
I would say: be yourself and believe in yourself. You know what you are capable of, so go out and do just that. Work hard, find a network, learn the culture of your organisation and always act with integrity.