We asked Sharon Naidoo, former CFO at YUM Brands & Kellogg's, to share her career story, what she's learnt about mentoring and her advice on how to combat gender bias in the workplace.
I have always embraced all of me and I have leveraged my strengths. I am different, I am a single mom, I am female, I am of Indian origin – I am diversity.
I focus on what I bring to the table – a sense of calmness, objectivity, a collaborator and the biggest business partner. I have a passion for value creation and growing new leaders. This all encompassing larger than life passion for growth and learning has been my biggest lever in my career.
Yes I have. My approach was and is to focus on me, what I bring to the table – be recognised for that rather than constantly react to the noise and the undue conflict. I have always been respected for my ability to lead an organisation.
I really believe as a female, there are many roles that you will play – being a spouse, a mum, a friend, a daughter, a career woman. All these roles cannot bear equal importance as there is just never enough hours in the day, pick the roles and give it 100%, rather than be mediocre at every role.
Nothing, because I have been very intentional on what brings me happiness. Being a CFO and being a mom are of equal importance to me and I balance the two every day.
Really be present and actively listen, our role is not to advise but to ask the right questions.
Normalising compensation for roles, flexible working hours – all of which do not compromise the ability to do business.
I focus on hiring the right person for the role, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation or any other form of discrimination.
There is never the right time to become a mum, do not pick one role over another. Define the path and the roles that bring you happiness and go after it!
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