Sandra du Toit
Date of birth: 27 February in Cape Town
Education: BCom, LLB, LLM
Management style: I believe that a coaching management style brings out the best in people – and the best in me!
Personal best achievement: I am so excited to have joined Partners in Performance, to make the transition from mergers, acquisitions and financing, into a realm where I can have a far greater impact on our clients’ decarbonisation journeys at an operational and implementation level. Actually being part of the process that gives effect to the impact that corporate actions are intended to have, is wonderful!
Philosophy of life: Right now, it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the negative newsflow. So, without sticking your head in the sand, and ignoring the practical realities around you, focus on the things that you can change.
Message for other women leaders: We live in such a privileged time, where we are gaining momentum in building agency for women every single day. Let’s use that agency to accelerate our influence.
Position: Associate Principal
Date of birth: 5 September in Cape Town
Education: Bsc (hons), MSc, BCom
Management style: Leading through others, giving your team guidance but space to do things their own way. A leader’s job is to clear the hurdles and make it easier for others to succeed.
Personal best achievement: Anything where I was ready to give up and still pushed through to the end. A cycling race jumps to mind – it was cold, pouring with rain and the wind was against me and I was so ready to throw in the towel, but crossing that finish line was a great sense of achievement and reminded me that grit and determination can take you far.
Philosophy of life: For me, life is about constantly learning and growing. Whether it’s through formal studies or experiences or just listening to people with a different viewpoint - the minute we stop learning we stagnate and life becomes boring. If you push yourself outside of your comfort zone to try something new, or attempt something you didn’t think was possible, there’s growth and learning no matter the outcome.
Message for other women leaders: We are all unique and we know this, yet often we emulate and compare ourselves against other people. Sure, we should learn from others but know your own strengths and learn to play to them – and then be happy to let others do the things that aren’t your forte.
Date of birth: 1985, in Rustenburg
Education: BEng Metallurgical Engineering
Management style: My leadership style is a combination of curiosity, openness and a knack for recognising the cold, hard facts. I also believe that a happy team is a winning team and to that end, I take the time to understand what brings contentment to each of my team members, cultivating an environment in which everyone finds their “joy of work”.
Personal best achievement: My greatest personal achievement lies in becoming a beacon of hope and inspiration for young minds in my community. By leading as an example, I’ve been able to empower those facing challenging circumstances due to their disadvantaged backgrounds. Instead of facing a bleak future with limited prospects, these young individuals now have a guiding light to help them navigate towards a brighter and more promising tomorrow.
Philosophy of life: My life philosophy centers around recognising your true worth, consistently choosing yourself, and being ready to gracefully walk away from any situation that fails to uplift and empower you.
Message for other women leaders: The path for women to thrive in the business world involves championing and sponsoring young, high-performing women within their respective industries. Being a sponsor means advocating for them in rooms where they might not have a voice, unlocking doors to opportunities they may not access alone, and providing a shield against the daily barrage of microaggressions that women encounter in the workplace.
Nicolene Van Vuuren
Position: Marketing Specialist for Africa
Date of birth: 1983 in Johannesburg
Education: Bachelor of Business Administration: Human Resource Management; Post Grad: Certificate in Labour Law
Management style: I follow the ethos of, “hire for attitude, train for skill”, as it leads to teams who work well together while encouraging upskilling across disciplines. I’ve found my management style promotes effective communication, encourages collaboration and teamwork and brings out the best in my team.
Personal best achievement: Without a doubt, my son is my best achievement. Being a parent, and watching him grow, learn and achieve his own successes has been the most fulfilling and joyful experience of my life.
Philosophy of life: Don’t settle. You are capable of far more than you can ever imagine. You just need to believe in yourself and be your own biggest supporter.
Message for other women leaders: In the fast-paced world of business, it is essential to stay true to your values and maintain your integrity. Let your values guide your decisions and actions, even in challenging situations. This will not only earn you respect but also help build a strong personal and professional reputation.