HEALTHCARE PLANNING STRATEGIST
Interview | Women in Leadership
• Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you climb the ladder to your current role?
I am one of three siblings and a mother to a 15 year old soccer star aspiring to be a cardiothoracic surgeon and a 12 year old fashion designer and aspiring entrepreneur daughter. I was born and raised in a small town of Kokstad in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province of South Africa.
I hold a qualification in business communications and advertising, majoring in marketing, economics, advertising and communications and started my career in the advertising industry then later as communications consultant at one of the leading business schools in South Africa, The Gordon Institute of Business Science.
The healthcare bug bit when I joined Mediclinic, one of South Africa’s largest private hospital groups as a marking manager in the Tshwane region. Part of the excitement of my job at Mediclinic was turning around some of their non-performing hospitals in the region. This involved changing the patient and doctor mix profiles, building referral relations, establishing business relations between the hospitals and government hospitals. I also supported Mediclinic in improving their Public Private Partnerships strategies with Government and developed business growth strategies for the hospitals.
I have developed working strategies on how to increase access to healthcare as well as business development within the healthcare sector in South Africa and the bigger African continent including Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
My successes include facilitating the purchase of over five private hospitals ranging from day hospitals to acute hospitals, as well as having contributed at the World Economic Forum paper published by WHO on “The Future of Healthcare in Africa” in 2019.
I have also enjoyed driving entrepreneurship workshops for the Pretoria Sunnyside community as well expanding that platform into a virtual forum attended by young and old entrepreneurs from Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Western Cape, Gauteng, Namibia and Botswana.
• What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Being in a male led and dominated industry, what I have noted is that the is still a high dominance of males and women have not gained a strong enough voice in the boardroom. We as females are still fighting for a seat at a table that is dominated by the male patriarchy at times. We need not keep quiet and continue the fight against corporate male privilege and create a more diverse and inclusive corporate platform across all sectors. In short, now is the time to brake more barriers and be louder, and not be shy to take the spotlight.
• What woman inspires you and why?
I am inspired by women who regardless of their humble beginnings and obstacles in their careers, they beat all odds to attain success while uplifting and empowering other women. These women include Zanele Mbeki, Dr Rebecca Malope, Oprah Winfrey, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dr Donna Y. Ford, Thabiso Moyo. My late mother Thandi Marubelela has to be on that list too, with a small teachers salary she has created over 15 professionals whom she single handedly put through school.
• What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
I think remarkable work has already been done by women in generations before us, the likes of Mme Lilliam Ngoyi, Mme Winnie Mandela, Mme Maya Angelou. Our generation has taken a step forward in ensuring that we start moving away from the male shadow and start being bold and heard. We have seen in this generation women start and lead the Black Lives Matter movement, the Me Too movement against gender based violence. I think the coming generations have the challenge of steering the direction of the globe as country leaders, policy makers, economy drivers, without losing their calm sober-minded strong voices.
• What are your success habits?
– Understanding that it all starts with a vision
– Understanding that in order for your vision to turn into goals it needs commitment, putting in a minimum of two hours a day towards this vision.
– Understanding that no does not mean failure, it just means try again
– Understanding that if it cannot be measured, it cannot be done
– Research, Research, Research
• How do you handle diversity and doubt?
Communication is key (communicate to be understood and not just heard)
There should always be clarity of what people are accountable for and everyone being treated equally across all levels in the work scale. (rights come with responsibilities)
An appreciation of different cultures and backgrounds, allows for a broader team thinking, creating more sustainable solutions.
Respect, tolerance and compassion should be at the core of a well-oiled working team. Maintaining respect of people, their time and resources has also been an asset.
When in doubt, ask, research, request clarity, my motto is “we learn every day”. It is up to us to show (not tell) that we are proactive in embracing all kinds of people who will bring value to the business and that it’s healthy and beneficial to learn from one another.
• If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have gained more confidence at a much earlier stage of my career. I would have worried less and enjoyed the journey more.
• What is the best advice you can give to youth who are forging a path in the corporate world?
It all starts with a vision, then a plan and focus on action delivery. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s all part of a training process for a better you. Invest time on things and people that inspire you to be better.
• What Does LB Holdings do?
LB HOLDINGS founded by professionals in the business development, engineering, technology, healthcare property development, provides a value chain of service predominantly in the healthcare environment through:
– Healthcare Development
– Feasibility and Market Study research development
– Health Information Technology Management
– Engineering and Project Management
– Healthcare Operations Management
– Facilities Management & Equipment Suppl