Serving is an essential part of what life is about and the highest of all callings, is the call to servanthood. As National President in 2015 and 2016, my vision for SACBW was to serve the organisation wholeheartedly, with dedication, and to grow and build a stronger footprint for the Council nationally. With this mission in mind, I realised that it would require consistent effort and dedication to bring this to life. Looking back at my term as President, I remember many highlights and fond memories.
The theme for 2015 was ‘Women Leading the Way’ and with Vice Presidents, Diana Jansen and Mallory Lambert, we hosted three provincial conferences in Bellville in Western Cape, Bloemfontein in Free State, and Middelburg, Mpumalanga during this year. The speakers were the same for the three conferences: Dineshri Pillay (with her topic and her book, The Contract with Yourself), Dr Peter Tobin, who shared information about the newly introduced POPI Act, and Magriet Engelbrecht spoke on Gender Intelligence in the Workplace.
As National President, I had the honour to be invited to attend the World Economic Forum’s Africa Mokete Gala Dinner at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. We also hosted our first Networking Golf Day in Pretoria and I also represented the Council as a guest speaker at the GWK Annual Meeting in Prieska, Northern Cape.
The Gala event was – as always – the highlight of the year where we celebrated the accomplishments of women in business, with the Business Women of the Year (BWOY) Awards. Building up to this event, we had BWOY judging events in four provinces and we were blessed with sponsorships received from Forever Resorts, Sanlam, and Leriba Hotel.
Our 2016 theme was “Lead the Change” with Diana Jansen re-elected as Vice President, and new to the team, Vice President Michelle Higgo. We kicked off the year with our second corporate Networking Golf Day.
During 2016 we had five Regional Congresses, with the first in Kempton Park, Gauteng. Coenie de Villers was our guest speaker, with an interesting topic of bringing the Music Brain into Business, and Diana Jansen shared on ‘Change the Lead to Lead the Change’. They spoke at all the following congresses with local speakers joining them, and topics like burnout, and how to identify and manage this were addressed. The second congress was in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, with speaker Yaa Ashantewaa, the third congress was hosted in Mossel Bay ,Western Cape, and speakers who shared the stage were Prof. Johnston from NMMU and Christie Els. The next event was in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga with speaker Mark Pearce, with our final congress hosted in Bloemfontein, Free State with Willem Fourie sharing the stage.
The BWOY judging was again hosted regionally. The highlight of 2016 was once again the Gala evening and BWOY Awards ceremony, with Dr Shirley Zinn as guest speaker. We were grateful for sponsorship from Tshogo Sun, Southern Sun, and Leriba Hotel.
Being a representative for SACBW on the AHI National Board in 2015 and 2016, experiencing and witnessing the acceptance, and breaking through the barriers, as women in business, were heartwarming as we were building a network of connections and lasting relationships in the process. Another success was growing the footprint with national branches from 8 to 21, with expanding the presence and impact of the SACBW in the media and in most provinces.
Serving the Council laid the foundation and created the pathway for my own journey – personally, emotionally, spiritually, and in business during 2017. I founded Confident Women in Business in March 2018. A forum and ministry designed to inspire, support, and encourage women in business who love God, and want to align their businesses with God. With CWIB we create a safe space where they can share their faith and their love for business and through this, empower other women in business and make a Kingdom impact in the workplace. Through serving, we are fulfilling our own destiny!