What do you do at Coronation and what experience led you to this role?
On completing my BCom Accounting, I started my career as an Internal Auditor at the Rennies Group. From there I gained my asset management and client servicing experience at Capital Alliance (Brait Asset Managers), Prodigy Asset Management and, then, Coronation Fund Managers, where I have been for the last 20 years.
Grit and inspiration
The road to success
As soon as I started my career in asset management, I knew that I had discovered the career path that made me tick. This, combined with the fact that I am a perfectionist, provided me with the impetus to prove myself in this demanding environment. I’ve never placed much focus on my job description, rather, my goal has been to continuously grow and being able to go to bed at night knowing that I have added value.
What built your resilience?
By nature, I am extremely driven to succeed. Giving up is never an option. My participation in Western Province athletics throughout my school career definitely built resilience through having to deal with the constant pressure of hectic training programmes and pushing beyond my mental and physical limits. Another very important rule I apply to my life, is to take one day at a time, especially in times of difficult personal or business challenges. By focusing on facing the challenges of a single day, I don’t become overwhelmed by the entire situation.
Shoulders of giants
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Definitely my mother, who was a fulltime working mom who still managed to keep it all together, always being there and taking care of everyone, even outside of our own family. Her resilience through many of life’s battles was just beyond amazing. And she never stopped. She managed to obtain her Western Province colours in bowls at age 60 and was their lead player, even throughout her battle with cancer, until she passed away at age 70.
At Coronation, employee ownership is a big part of our culture, what does this mean to you?
It means that I am responsible and that I take ownership for everything within my control. It means always going the extra mile, ensuring I deliver on the best I can, picking up loose balls and going beyond my roles and responsibilities. It shapes and defines our Coronation culture knowing that each one of us plays an important role in our business, no matter what our titles are.
Coronation is a team-based meritocracy, what does this mean to you?
We place high value on integrity in all that we do. What does integrity mean to you, personally and for the business?
Integrity is made up of three principles – Honesty, Responsibility and Accountability. Integrity means following your moral or ethical convictions and doing the right thing in all circumstances, even if no one is watching you. Having integrity means you are true to yourself and would do nothing that demeans or dishonours you.
What do you think needs to change in the mindset of working women?
Some women may unintentionally undermine themselves by continuing to support gender stereotypes. It is important that you believe in yourself and allow yourself the opportunity to explore and implement your goals and dreams. Women are gifted with so many amazing abilities and we should never be scared to use these to create a better world for ourselves. One of the secrets that successful women rely on is playing to their strengths while minimising their weaknesses. Focus on the skills that make you the all-star that you are. Keep trying to improve on your weaker skills but allow your strengths to make you stand out.
What advice would you give women entering the workplace now?
When you were in school, everything was about you. The real world is all about your employer and what you can do for them. Take the focus off yourself and concentrate on the value you can bring to them. Be willing to take on certain tasks that may seem mundane or beneath you. This is how you build trust with your colleagues and managers. Henry Ford famously said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”