The group executive head of human resources at Santam Insurance, Enid Lizamore, has some advice for women doing it all.
In Africa, more than 30% of small, medium and micro-enterprises are women-owned. These SMMEs contribute significantly to the continent’s economy and generate thousands of jobs. Veuve Clicquot’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Barometer Study found a massive 54% of South African women consider themselves entrepreneurs – the highest level of women entrepreneurship in the 17 countries assessed. South Africa needs to nurture its women entrepreneurs by creating a more enabling environment. In turn, we as women need to hustle hard and embrace our innate entrepreneurial skills.
The global economy is moving in the direction of people juggling multiple roles simultaneously. I am a mother of two, and co-owner of a restaurant and craft beer company as well. I can only do this because Santam believes in flexibility, trusts me to deliver on my goals, and creates an environment that prioritises wellness and a cooperative culture.
I’ve been fortunate in having an employer that recognises that my role is part of my world – but not
my whole world. Make no mistake, getting here was not easy. Below are some insights that may be useful for women pursuing ‘hustles’, particularly while juggling a full-time job and a family.
Compartmentalise, structure, organise
It’s impossible for me to have a presence with all my projects at once. I find that compartmentalising comes in handy, along with a set structure and fine-tuned organisational skills. When you’re doing something, try to be fully present.
Practise your multifaceted abilities
Women can do a great many things in many ways. We are not siloed in our abilities, and that makes us avid entrepreneurs. I may be head of HR at Santam, but at my restaurant I am a waitress and I clean the floors. At the same time, I need to be thinking long term in terms of expansion to ensure that my business remains sustainable. Our capacity is boundless and, as women, we need to take full advantage of that.
Maximise your productivity
The one thing I’ve realised is a must-have in terms of routine is serenity. When chaos brews during your first waking hours, it tends to linger throughout the day and seeps into your work. So I ensure my mornings with my children and my husband are peaceful.
Build a firm network and support system
We cannot be superwomen all the time. It’s crucial to have a solid support system in place. This is not just limited to family. Working for a female CEO has been so liberating; it has taught me the value in becoming practical about building networks of successful women.
If you’ve got the work ethic, you’re already 90% of the way there.