SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN LEADERS: OUR SECRET SAUCE
I’m a 45-year-old mom & wife to two amazing daughters who are my absolute treasures. I’ve recently hit a major milestone in my career journey – stepping up as the first female Managing Director at Mscsports, a leading full-service sponsorship agency. In an industry previously dominated by men, this achievement holds special significance for me. During Women’s Month, I’m doing some deep thinking, reflecting on the ups, the downs, and all the victories in between.
From a work perspective, I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded every day by an incredible team of women. They are this amazing mix of challenge and inspiration, and I honestly feel blessed to work alongside them. In addition – I’ve got this crew of exceptional women who’ve been my guiding stars, shaping who I am today. These women embody strength, resilience, and tenacity, and I am honoured to call them clients, colleagues, friends, and family. Let’s not forget the remarkable women who’ve crossed paths with me during milestones in my life, leaving their mark and changing my journey for the better.
Now, I’m certainly not ignoring the men in my life who’ve made a difference – they’ve been awesome too.
However, it is Women’s Month and I’m recognising my female peers who truly epitomise the multifaceted roles I aspire to excel in – a businesswoman, a mother, a wife, and a friend.
This self-discovery phase has me going even deeper, trying to figure out just what makes women like us shine as leaders in this big world of business, and what sets us apart from our male counterparts.
I believe I have uncovered a few (probably many) solid reasons why South African women are just the right fit for most leadership roles:
- A Kaleidoscope of Perspectives:
An environment with individuals from similar backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs is a breeding ground for stagnation, where fresh ideas struggle to flourish. Introducing diverse perspectives, especially those brought by women, fosters a culture of creativity and innovation. Women often approach problem-solving from a different angle, drawing from their unique experiences and insights.
- Heart and Head in Sync:
Women have mastered this thing called emotional intelligence and empathy – it’s probably our secret sauce. It lets leaders connect deeply with their teams, creating a work family that’s more than just a 9-to-5 grind. Empathetic leaders who really understand their team’s needs create a happy and productive environment. This, in turn, boosts employee morale, reduces turnover rates, and attracts top talent who seek a nurturing work environment.
- Smashing Stereotypes and Inspiring Future Generations:
When women step up as leaders, it challenges societal stereotypes and perceptions about gender roles. Representation matters, and by showcasing successful female leaders, we inspire future generations to dream big and pursue their ambitions without limitations. Women in leadership positions become role models and mentors for others, creating a cycle of empowerment that extends far beyond the workplace.
- Effective Communication:
Women are known for their adept communication skills, which contribute to clear and open dialogues within teams. This skill is crucial for building strong relationships and resolving conflicts.
- Multi-tasking Pros:
Women frequently excel at multitasking, juggling various responsibilities simultaneously, which is a valuable trait in leadership roles.
- All About the Bottom Line:
Studies have found that having diverse leadership, with women in the mix, leads to better financial results. It’s like we bring a whole new perspective to the money game. Our views on financial decisions, understanding customers, and marketing strategies are quite literally gold!
- Tackling Challenges with Heart and Soul:
South African women have our own set of unique challenges, ones that are deeply tied to our history, culture, and society which we’re becoming pros at dealing with. And that’s probably what makes us pretty good at tackling business problems too. Having more women in leadership positions can help organisations strike a balance between profit and purpose, leading to a more sustainable and responsible future.
In conclusion, the unique attributes that South African women bring to leadership roles are not only valuable but also essential for the holistic growth of organisations.
Our collaborative spirit, communication skills, emotional intelligence, adaptability, efficiency, and resilience are ultimately the secret sauce that contributes to a dynamic, successful, inclusive, and innovative workplace.
As I reflect on my journey, I’m inspired by the incredible women who’ve cleared the path, and I’m beyond excited to see the next generation of women leaders stepping up and changing the game.
With gratitude and continued determination, this Women’s Month and always,
Mscsports (Pty) Ltd