ST Women in Technology - 39

I should be assigned a female mentor, or
because I'm an African woman, then I need to
find an African mentor. In fact, a good mentor
can be anybody, anywhere in the world. If I
see that this person can help teach me how
to achieve the things that I want, if they have
the right energy for it, and they have the
experience, I reach out to them.
For example, at one point, I needed some help
deciding whether to leave consulting to take an
operational leadership role at Sasol. This was
a big decision for me to make because I liked
Accenture. On the one hand, I was engaged
and I was enjoying myself. On the other, Sasol
offered me an opportunity to grow in my career.
I turned to a former colleague who had become
an operational executive for advice. He was able
to highlight the key things that I would be able
to gain at Sasol that more consulting would not
give me. He was also very reassuring. "Don't

1

be afraid to try something new," he said. "If it
doesn't work out, you can always move back."
I divide the people who give me advice into two
groups, mentors and coaches. The mentors I
use for high-level discussions, as I noted above.
I call them about once a quarter. For day-today operations, I have people that I consider to
be my coaches, people who can tell me, "This
is where you should go, this is what you should
consider."
Today, it's still not uncommon for me to be the
only woman in the room. But between what
I've learned about talking and listening and my
strong support network, I no longer even think
about being a woman when I sit down at the
table. I focus instead on why we are here, what
do we need to do, and what am I bringing to the
table to ensure that we make the decision we
need to make.

As a woman in the male-dominated IT world, it's
important to focus on building your communication skills.

2

Being more forthright and more direct in your
communication will make you more convincing.

3

Make sure you understand your internal clients before you
roll out new technology. Their particular circumstances
may hinder adoption.

4

Mentors aren't just for people starting out in the business.
They remain useful throughout your career.

39



ST Women in Technology

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ST Women in Technology

Contents
ST Women in Technology - Cover1
ST Women in Technology - Cover2
ST Women in Technology - 1
ST Women in Technology - Contents
ST Women in Technology - 3
ST Women in Technology - 4
ST Women in Technology - 5
ST Women in Technology - 6
ST Women in Technology - 7
ST Women in Technology - 8
ST Women in Technology - 9
ST Women in Technology - 10
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ST Women in Technology - Cover4
ST Women in Technology - 108
ST Women in Technology - Poster 1
ST Women in Technology - Poster 2
ST Women in Technology - Poster 3
ST Women in Technology - Poster 4
ST Women in Technology - Poster 5
ST Women in Technology - Poster 6
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