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Media Releases

Please click to link to these articles:
 
1. Rapport: 13 Augustus 2006
2. Leadership Magazine: August 2005
3. Cape Times: 2 April 2004
4. Cape Times: 29 March 2004
5. Cape Argus: 17 March 2004
6. Cape Argus: 17 March 2004
7. Cape Times: 23 February 2004
8. Cape Argus: 22 October 2003
 

1. Rapport: 13 Augustus 2006

10 Strategieë om 'n Topsakevrou te Word
Praat Lei tot Kontakte en Kontakte Lei tot Sakegeleenthede
By Helen Ueckermann


Dit is Vrouemaand en praatjies oor die bemagtiging van vroue, die skep van geleenthede vir vroue en hoe ongeregtighede van die verlede reggestel kan word, word oral gehoor.

"Almal wil graag suksesvol wees, maar min mense besef dat dit nie net 'n gelukspel is nie. Almal kan leer hoe om sukses te behaal en een van die doeltreffendste maniere om dit te doen, is om te kyk na wat ander mense suksesvol gemaak het en dan hul voorbeeld te volg," sê me. Lisel Erasmus-Kritzinger, koördineerder van die mentorskapprojek 1001 Women Project - National Modern Mentoring Challenge .

Sy is ook skrywer en samesteller van die boek Inspirerende vroue aan die werk .

Erasmus-Kritzinger het deur gereelde kontak met 52 van Suid-Afrika se suksesvolste vroue tien strategieë geï dentifiseer wat van hulle toppresteerders gemaak het in hul loopbane en gesinslewe.

"Dit is vroue wat weet hoe om van struikelblokke uitdagings te maak," sê sy.

Sy lig die volgende tien strategieë uit:

•  Word 'n lewenslange leerder
Maak dit 'n uitdaging om 'n lewenslange leerder te word wat pal nuwe vaardighede ontwikkel, maniere vind om kwalifikasies te verbeter en meer belese en kundig te raak.

Dit sluit in om gereeld te bepaal watter vaardighede verbeter of kennis uitgebrei moet word. Dan moet jy besluit of jy dit gaan doen deur formele kwalifikasies of opleiding, deur 'n informele kortkursus, selfstudie, leeswerk of deur 'n mentor.

•  Vind 'n mentor
Navorsing bewys dat suksesvolle vroue in Suid-Afrika gemiddeld drie mentors het wat bydra tot hul sukses. 'n Mentor is 'n vertroude kollega, kundige of sakepersoon, 'n adviseur in die organisasie of in die persoon se lewe wat bereid is om kennis te deel wat op ervaring, insig en wysheid gegrond is.

In die keuse van 'n mentor kyk na vroue na wie jy opsien en wat jy respekteer vir verskillende areas (finansieel, sake, spiritueel, emosionele intelligensie, leierskap of entrepreneurskap) in jou persoonlike en sakelewe. Bou en handhaaf met dié persoon 'n formele verhouding tussen mentor en gementorde.

•  Wees passievol oor wat jy doen
Doen introspeksie en vra jouself af of jy werklik 'n passie het vir wat jy doen. As dit nie die geval is nie, is dit dalk tyd om 'n paar veranderings aan te bring.

•  Wees anders, wees uniek
Maak seker dit wat jy jou werkgewer, jou kollegas of jou kliënte bied, is uniek, vars, anders, nuut en kreatief.

•  Verhoog jou sigbaarheid
Word gesien by geleenthede, in koerante, in tydskrifte en op TV en word oor die radio gehoor; skryf 'n artikel vir 'n koerant of tydskrif oor die area waarin jy spesialiseer; sê "Ja!" vir uitnodigings om as gasspreker of aanbieder by sakefunksies, gemeenskapsvergaderings of konferensies op te tree.

•  Bestuur jou beeld
Bestuur die indrukke wat op 'n daaglikse grondslag oor jou gevorm word versigtig; bestuur hoe mense jou sien en wat hulle van jou sien; bestuur wat hulle van jou sê; bestuur wat hulle van jou hoor en wat jy sê.

•  Raak betrokke
Sluit aan by organisasies vir vroue soos die Sakevrouevereniging (BWA), die Sowetan Women's Club, die SAIM, die Rotariërklub, Toastmasters of die International Women's Forum om maar 'n paar te noem.

Hier kan jy voordeel trek uit uitstekende netwerkgeleenthede en professionele en sosiale interaksie met mense wat net soos jy dink.

•  Doen daardie bietjie ekstra
Gee ekstra lesse of vind maniere om ander te bemagtig; gee deeltyds lesings by 'n kollege of universiteit; kry 'n kreatiewe naweekwerk; belê van jou tyd in die gemeenskap.

•  Maak 'n verskil
Gebruik jou mag om ander te bemagtig; maak 'n verskil in die gemeenskap deur jou tyd of bronne aan te bied; vra jouself af wat jy kan gee sonder om iets in ruil te verwag.

•  Bou netwerk-bande
Navorsing deur die Universiteit van SuidAfrika se Nagraadse Skool vir Sakeleierskap bevestig dit - vroue is natuurlike bouers van netwerkbande. "Om te praat, lei tot kontakte - en kontakte lei tot sakegeleenthede," sê Erasmus-Kritzinger.

"Maak om bande te bou 'n maandelikse doelwit en kyk hoe groei jou selfvertroue en databasis. Bou en handhaaf verhoudings en moenie 'mors' nie: versprei die voordeel deur daardie besigheidskaartjie vir iemand te gee vir wie dit nuttig sal wees indien jy dit nie kan gebruik nie."

Erasmus-Kritzinger het spesiaal vir Sake-Rapport se vrouelesers kopieë van haar boek Inspirerende vroue aan die werk teen 'n afslagprys beskikbaar gestel tydens Vrouemaand.

Die boek fokus op 52 Suid-Afrikaanse vroue - hul lewens, die uitdagings wat hulle in die sake- en alledaagse lewe moes trotseer, en hoe hulle vandag sukses behaal en 'n verskil in ons land maak.

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2. Leadership Magazine: August 2005

Leading Ladies
By Lisel Erasmus-Kritzinger


We celebrate Women's Day on 9 August. Lisel Erasmus-Kritzinger, author of Inspirational Women at Work, interviews some great ladies.
 
Click for Article

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3. Cape Times: 2 April 2004

Book Review / Interview
By Beryl Eichenberger


Ask any woman in business what she would want to guide her on the path to success and she'll probably answer "a handbook... but not just any handbook - one that gives hints and tips from the women who have achieved and who act as role models for the rest of us".

Lisel Erasmus-Kritzinger has produced just such a handbook - Inspirational Women at Work, probably one of the most empowering publications today. With the book launch happening in Cape Town on April 6, we caught up with Erasmus-Kritzinger and asked her a few background questions about the book, as well as reviewing this ground-breaking publication.

What prompted you to compile this book?

This vision started for me in 1999 at a conference aiming to empower people in business. I heard such powerful and moving stories from South African women - women sharing their life stories with confidence and, by doing so, inspiring all those who had the privilege of listening to them. I realised that these stories belonged to all the women of South Africa and so the idea of a book was born. Storytelling is after all an African tradition, and one of the most effective ways of passing on the message.

How did you select the contributors?

The women featured in this publication are all South African achievers in their own right who are making a difference in the lives of other women and in South Africa as a whole. All of them have in common their tenacity, caring and optimism that have enabled them to succeed in raising families, delivering in their professions and being committed to success. It is these qualities that build this country and make the world a better place. Representing a cross-section of South African women in geography, age, cultural background, business experience and lifestyle, these women have had to make sacrifices to meet the challenges along their diverse paths to become successful.

Each has invented her own path by drawing on the unique resources available to her, including natural talents, passions, values, cultural heritage and individual approaches to business and life. They share information about overcoming challenges in business and in life as well as their soaring accomplishments, openly crediting those who helped them make it to the top. Insight is provided into why they have been successful, along with personal and professional strategies that are generously shared with the reader.

In the process of selecting, it was important to me to include not only immediately recognisable, high-profile women, but also women unassumingly making a difference in their communities. My original proposal consisting of 30 women quickly grew to over 50 and it was only through a firm promise from the publishers that we could start working on Inspirational Women at Work II, that allowed me to stop feeling that we are doing an injustice to the readers by not including many more women who have a story to tell.

With a list of questions that were put to the women interviewed, the interviews remain in the subjects' own words so their response is from the heart. Some are briefer than others but the bottom line is that all are honest in wanting to share their experience with the world. The key is focus, determination to succeed and never giving up. Always underlying these successes is the recurring mantra "I can".

Experiences from such diverse women as Pam Golding, property icon, to Helen Morgans, fighting for deaf rights, Basetsana Kumalo, presenter and television producer, to Corine McClintock, founder of the Sparrow Ministries, each story shows what has given them the edge The aim of the book is to inspire, motivate, empower and inform South African women; to make a positive difference in the lives of women in this country; to give a voice to ordinary achieving women and role models of this country; to celebrate achievement and inspire others to act and to show how you, too, can make a difference. It achieves all this and more.

What difference have the insights of these women made to YOU as a business person?

The experience of putting this book together confirmed again what formal research shows: women are natural leaders, communicators, information sharers, mentors, supporters and carers. Women are an extremely valuable resource often not fully utilised to the benefit of our people and our country. Women share their knowledge, time and resources when they know it will be used to benefit another person.

I also specifically refer to the team of women I selected to support me in identifying the contributors and collecting information. While there are many strong and successful women in this world, it is shattering to realise that the majority of the poor, the needy and the vulnerable are women. That is an imbalance we have to correct. Easy to navigate, the book is divided into sections taking you on a journey through many spheres of business. Each chapter closes with a workbook section, which you can use to take yourself forward. I found particularly helpful the sections "taking it a step further" where strategic skills are identified for achievement within the discipline discussed. Additionally a list of resource books gives you more options for improvement.

How do you see the book as assisting women in the future?

To learn from each others' life experiences! The importance of sharing your story is emphasised by Albertina Sisulu, who said: "We are required to walk our own road and then stop, assess what we have learned and share it with others. "It is only in this way that the next generation can learn from those who have walked before them..."

It is also my wish that the young women of our country, completing their formal education and who will be the future leaders of our country, have the opportunity to read the stories of their inspiring South African role models.

And what of the future?

We hope that this will be the first of many books telling the inspirational stories of women, not only in South Africa or Africa, but globally! We are starting with a project giving voice to the women of Africa soon. It is my belief that the world can learn a lot from our continent - and that the stories are ready to be told and read! With a foreword by Graça Machel and special messages from Oprah Winfrey, Irene Charnley, Albertina Sisulu and Yvonne Johnston, Erasmus- Kritzinger has gathered together a group of strong and purposeful women determined to succeed and make the country succeed. Intimidating? No. Heartwarming and inspiring? Absolutely.

The Cape Town launch of the book will take place at Wordsworth Books, Gardens Centre, 6.30pm for 7pm on April 6. The book is also available in Afrikaans. For more information call 021 461 8464. We have two copies of Inspirational Women at Work to give away. To stand a chance to win, call 021 556 8200 today between 9am and 9.10am.

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4. Cape Times: 29 March 2004

Inspirational Women Launch Book

Following the Johannesburg launch, Inspirational Women @ Work, a book compiled and edited by Lisel Erasmus-Kritzinger, will be launched in Cape Town on April 6. Some of the original contributors and invited guests will attend an exclusive breakfast at the Radisson Hotel at the V&A Waterfront and Wordsworth Books at the Gardens Centre will launch the book that evening at 6pm, in association with Lapa publishers.

Key sponsor for the Cape Town launch, Absa, has identified this book as mandatory reading for all women staff. Absa executive director Laetitia van Dyk, says the book profiles a rich history of success and achievement by a more mature generation, and the strides made by resourceful young trailblazers, who are defying all odds in redefining the role of women in business, politics, communication, finance and other diverse fields.

Inspirational Women @ Work contains information on many prominent South African women and how they got to be where they are today. Contributors include Pam Golding, Jane Raphaely, Irene Charnley, Maria Ramos and Cheryl Carolus as well as Monique Strydom and rape survivor Alison, all of whom offer guidelines and anecdotes from which to draw inspiration. Also included are special messages from Graca Machel, Albertina Sisulu and Oprah Winfrey.

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5. Cape Argus: 17 March 2004

Building the Best You

Building a successful brand is vitally important when it comes to marketing a product or service. But many career women do not realise that it is just as important to build a winning personal brand to make themselves more marketable. In the book Inspirational Women At Work, to be launched in Cape Town next month, several successful women provide strategies that can easily be implemented to help you reach your career goals.

Among them is Vanessa Bluen, executive director of The Consultant Powerhouse, who offers these tips:

•  Identify your top 5% of talent on which to build your personal brand. Be realistic about your strengths as well as your challenges. Don't waste time turning your weaknesses into strengths - rather work with people inside and outside your organisation who complement your skills.

•  Make yourself memorable. No one ever got wildly excited about buying a no-name brand.

•  Business is about building relationships based on how your client feels about you. No matter how consistently or excellently you deliver, what used to be regarded as superior service can easily be considered routine after a while. To continue to excite and delight your clients you need to make yourself memorable. Challenge what you do routinely by changing one of the key elements of a situation. As soon as something is done slightly differently, people notice it.

•  The best brands are aspirational: make everything about you a statement of your quality. A company's brand will get you to the final set, but the final decision will depend on how the client feels about the person sitting across the table. Do I want to work with you? Have you earned my confidence and respect?

Tips for professionals wanting to make a quality aspirational statement are:

•  Project a visual image that showcases your professionalism. Many professionals still think that sloppy T-shirts and dirty takkies constitute acceptable business wear.

•  Use relationship-building skills to grow business partnerships in an increasingly competitive business arena.

•  These should include practical strategies from handshakes to help-desks, from dining out to dynamic delivery skills in the various arenas in which business relationships take place. You are the message.

•  Use exceptional service as a sales strategy. Remember that service is the most powerful way to protect and grow your income stream.

•  Cultural fluency is just one of many skills that need to be developed to make yourself the partner of choice. It implies an ability to work flexibly with other people who are different to ourselves. We need to recognise the richness that such relationships bring in terms of personal growth, as well as business opportunities.

•  Brands connect with their markets. Step into your client's vision. We need a new toolkit to move from old style selling to the new business imperative of strategic, consultative business partnering.

•  The ability to enter into the client's vision and craft a compelling solution will ensure business sustainability. Above all you must make the fundamental shift from selling a product to providing solutions. The danger of a one-size-fits-all canned script works against the creative, customised solutions that will ensure clients cannot possibly take their business elsewhere. At the end of the day you sell to people not only businesses.

•  The ultimate success of your personal brand is when new business comes from referrals. When your client stops referring to you as "the" and starts referring to you as "my", you know you have made an emotional connection and your client is likely to refer you. Referral business is your ultimate compliment because it says not only that you have added enormous value to your client, but that the client trusts your consistency and flexibility to give the same value to someone who is important to them.

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6. Cape Argus: 17 March 2004

Become More Marketable

Lisel Erasmus-Kritzinger provides some additional hints on how to make yourself more marketable, taken from information provided by several contributors to her book Inspirational Women at Work.

1. Increase your visibility. Be seen:
•  At events, in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.
•  By writing an article for a newspaper or magazine about your area of expertise.
•  By saying "Yes!" to invitations to act as guest speaker or MC at business functions,
    community meetings or other conferences and events.

2. Become a lifelong learner:
Make it a challenge to develop new skills constantly, finds ways to improve existing qualifications, be well read and knowledgeable.

3. Find a mentor:
•  Select women who you look up to and respect in your personal and business life.
•  Build and maintain a formal relationship with your mentor.
•  Get together regularly, ask questions and learn.

4. Be passionate about what you do:
Ask yourself whether you are really passionate about it. If not, it might be time for a change.

5. Be different, be unique:
Make sure that what you offer your employer, your colleagues or your clients is unique, fresh, different, new, creative!

6. Manage your image:
•  Carefully manage the impressions that are formed about you on a daily basis.
•  Manage how people see you / what they see of you.
•  Manage what they hear about you and from you.

7. Get involved:
•  Join organisations such as the Business Women's Association, SAIM, Rotary Club,
    Toastmasters or International Women's Forum.
•  Benefit from excellent networking opportunities and professional and social
    interaction with like-minded individuals.

8. Do that little extra:
•  Write articles for the local paper or specialist publications.
•  Give extra lessons or find ways to empower others.
•  Lecture part-time at a college or university.
•  Get a creative weekend job.
•  Invest time in the community.

9. Make a difference:
•  Use your power to empower others.
•  Make a difference in the community by offering your time or resources.
•  Ask: what can I give without expecting anything in return?

10. Network, network, network:
•  Research at Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership confirms it: women are
    natural networkers.
•  Talking leads to contacts and contacts lead to business opportunities.
•  Build and maintain relationships.

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7. Cape Times: 23 February 2004

Work Still to be Done in Empowering Women
By Sarah-Jane Bosch


Women all over the world have been trying for hundreds of years to improve their own lot and that of their sisters.

Conditions have improved markedly in the past 100 years. Since the 1960s, feminists made a huge impact on the way in which women are treated in most parts of the world. At the start of the 21st century, shouldn't we be looking past gender equality issues and treating women and men as equals? No, says the author of Inspirational Women at Work, Lisel Erasmus-Kritzinger, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Inspirational Women at Work tells the stories of 52 South African women who have helped to make a positive difference to others. The book outlines their lives, the challenges they faced, and the impact they have had. At a private ceremony at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton last week, celebrities Graca Machel and Miriam Makeba committed themselves to involvement in projects related to the book.

Nene Molefi, of transformation consultancy Mandate Molefi, agrees that there is still plenty of work to be done in empowering women.

Molefi has formulated three golden rules for changing mindsets about women in leadership positions:
1. Performance excellence: the most powerful tool to fight any form of discrimination
    in the workplace is to make sure your performance is truly excellent.
2. Create a critical mass: as a woman at the top you should focus on creating a
    critical mass by appointing and supporting more women.
3. Show up and own your space: challenge stereotypes in a mature and effective
    manner.

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8. Cape Argus: 22 October 2003

Women are Born Leaders

Women make excellent - and natural - leaders, says Professor Lize Booysen of Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership. But while they represent more than 50 percent of the world population, there is no country in which they number half, or even close to half, of the corporate managers. In the Leadership chapter of a new book entitled Inspirational Women at Work, Prof Booysen points out that even in gender sensitive South Africa, men still dominate politics, business, the trade union movement and the economy.

Only 20 percent of those receiving management training are women, and females account for only 23 percent of lecturers in business schools. But the time has come for women to assume their rightful place as leaders alongside men in South African corporate organisations and in politics, and bring feminine values into the workplace, she says.

Research shows that male managers tend to focus on performance, competition and winning, domination, control and directive leadership. Female managers emphasise collaboration, participation, intuition, empathy, empowerment, self-disclosure, indirect leadership style and subtle forms of control. The feminine leadership style focuses on the leader as a colleague or equal, and tends to be thoughtful and responsive, she says. Women also tend to be more comfortable and competent in fulfilling multiple roles and executing more than one task simultaneously. Through general education and management training, managers, and indeed all employees, should be educated to realise the value of feminine values and the importance of gender equality.

Our mindsets need to change, says Prof Booysen. The "think manager, think male" paradigm should change to "think manager, think competence", irrespective of race or gender. And the "look like a lady, act like a man, work like a dog" paradigm should change to "look like a lady, act like a lady and work effectively".

This transformation will not only bring feminine values into organisations, but will also instill a sense of pride in women, enabling them to recognise and value their own identity and the contribution they can make towards achieving corporate goals. In addition, it will enlarge the pool of talent available for management, in the interest of organisations and the country. In the book, Prof Booysen provides practical tips for women in leadership positions. Women should just be themselves, she says. Do not try and act like a male: being a woman is good enough.

She says you should know yourself, and be open, honest and congruent. Know what makes you happy and work towards that.

Learn how to say no at work and make time for yourself and the significant others in your life. Also learn to say no at home and take time out for yourself. Look after yourself so that you can look after others. Strive for a balance in your life, and don't try to do everything on your own - delegate! Support other women on all levels: be a mentor and find yourself one. Learn from other women and teach those around you what you know. Network with other men and women. And yes - you do have to play organisational politics in order to progress, she says.

Inspirational Women at Work, compiled by Lisel Erasmus-Kritzinger of Creative Conferences and Training, includes contributions from many high profile and dynamic achievers.

Erasmus-Kritzinger says the book was compiled to inspire, motivate, empower and inform South African women, and will be launched in Cape Town in December.

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