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As we continue with Women’s Month at the backdrop of last week’s National Women’s Day celebration, Sasol Senior Vice President: Corporate Affairs, Cindy Mogotsi took some time to share her thoughts on what this month means to her and encouraged fellow colleagues to start taking ownership of their place in the world of work. Cindy who was also celebrating her birthday last Thursday says: “Whilst we celebrate this time in history, we need not forget the sacrifices made by those solid rock women of yesteryears. We need to reflect and remember the past.”

This month, Cindy says we need to acknowledge how far we’ve come to get to where we are, whilst looking forward to what lies ahead of us. She adds that for as long as we still have gender stereotypes, work and life barriers, there is still a lot of work to be done. We need to normalize women in the workplace and encourage them to occupy positions without it being a novelty. The baton has been passed on to us and we’re in the spotlight. Cindy who recently joined Sasol shares that women alone cannot lift other women because inequalities exist in all corners of our country, in society, at work and at home. There is a need for a collective effort and men need to play a central role in contributing towards the empowerment of women.

“Let us all join hands in taking our rightful place in the workplace and help build our proud nation. Women of Sasol, be proud of what you have achieved. Let the achievements of those who went before you inspire you to unlock your own strength and motivate you to make a difference at work, in your family, your community and the country,” Cindy says.

Closer to home, she says when it comes to women empowerment in the workplace, Sasol is very progressive. However, she acknowledges that Sasol has a long way to go in terms of fast tracking women progression in leadership and in core business operational areas. She believes more opportunities should be created for women in the business, because they have the potential to bring a different approach and perspective to the world of work. Cindy says being a woman working in a male dominant environment, things are not that simple and easy, but she strongly believes if you know your strengths, skills and work then there’s no reason to doubt yourself. “You need to believe you can make a positive contribution and add value to the company, but it’s easier said than done. It comes with a lot of self-awareness, coaching, reading, understanding of one’s weaknesses and being able to address those weaknesses. Yes, it is tough and it won’t be easy, but it can be done. So, if you want to make it in life, you have to know your story, be authentic and know what you’re all about,” Cindy says. Giving words of wisdom to the younger generation, who would like to empower themselves in the workplace, Cindy recommends they firstly need to be self-aware of their strengths because once a person knows their ability, they are then able to understand what they are capable of. Self-awareness is the beginning of their road to success.

She also advices young women to find themselves a mentor or coach and always be willing to learn in order to help sharpen their trade. The younger generation needs some form of guidance not only in terms of work, but with life skills as well. Most importantly, Cindy stresses that young people need not forget to work hard and always be that person who is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, this is how you learn. Be willing to do the work that others are unwilling to do and be prepared to go an extra mile. This is one way one can build experience in a portfolio that’s not their comfort space or field of work and broaden your horizon.