InnoVent excellence: Transforming women in leadership
Building a company that C.A.R.E.’s and supports personal growth.
The number of women in senior leadership in business has grown and diversity in leadership is good for business, according to the World Economic Forum.
InnoVent, an IT financing and leasing specialist, knows all too well how positioning women for success in business creates an inclusive culture.
The company has put women at the forefront of its conversations and career planning and has upheld the commitment to putting more women in leadership – a commitment that was defined by the company’s Founder and CEO, Bengayi Kumbula.
“Two years ago, Bengayi summoned all the women to the boardroom for a meeting,” says Lindeni Mabika, Marketing Manager at InnoVent. “He asked us why we didn’t have more female leaders in the company? On that day, he challenged us to step up and take on a more active role in leadership.”
It was a seminal moment for the company. One that gave many an opportunity to take a chance, to have the confidence to take on influential roles, and do exactly what the CEO wanted – step up.
To support this change and to give employees the tools they needed to become better leaders, the company provided ongoing training and development.
“When I was given the opportunity to become a part of the leadership programme, I wasn’t prepared, I was comfortable in my position, but I agreed to take on the challenge,” says Ellen Mangwane, Junior Accountant. “I realised it was an opportunity for me to grow and develop.”
“Our employees are a top priority,” said Frank de Beer, Culture and Performance Engineer. “The training platforms and leadership opportunities provided by InnoVent come with a commitment to people. To see people as individuals with hopes and ambitions, not just as numbers.”
This is something that stands out for Elouwdi Smit, a Business Analyst. “The leaders of InnoVent approach management differently, treating every employee with empathy, patience and understanding,” says Smit. “Not only did they really invest into understanding me, but they took the time to guide and coach me daily.”
De Beer continues: “With the full support of the business and our help from our partners, we have crafted a strong culture defined by a simple set of four vital behaviours with the acronym C.A.R.E: Coach, accountability, respectful engagement and entrepreneurship –that define how we operate every single day.
"They reflect how we interact with our colleagues, our clients and our communities. We hold each other accountable for creating a company we can all be proud to work for."
“InnoVent has one of the most supportive structures I’ve ever experienced,” says Mabika. This is also a view shared by Elizabeth Gapare, Quality Control Team Leader: “From the leadership course to the skills I’ve gained, everything has helped me achieve my goals. This has been a journey I never thought I would take, and it was the encouragement of InnoVent that saw me pursue this path.”
InnoVent is committed to building the leaders and skills of tomorrow. Leaders that are not defined by their gender, but by their passion and their own commitment to developing their skills and futures.
“My personal belief is that behind every great business is a team of leaders who motivate, encourage and support one another and their employees,” says Masego Mafoko, QStore Team Leader. “InnoVent practices that and more.”
In addition to a fundamental belief in the capabilities and abilities of every woman within the company, InnoVent is also defined by its ethical stance and consistent integrity.
“We have always felt supported and empowered to get on with the business of human resources,” says Leone Odendaal, HR Manager. “My dream is to continue to build a culture where employees speak up without fear and question the status quo, owning their chairs and serving their customers with gratitude.”
But it is Nadia Pillay, Operations Manager, who adds the final thought that captures how InnoVent walks the talk when it comes to empowering women within the workplace and driving diversity in every corner of the organisation.
“I am constantly learning and growing, and I am proud of where I am and where it is taking me,” concludes Pillay. “I started my journey as a Sales Co-Ordinator and have now worked my way up to the Operations Manager. InnoVent supported me every at every step, and I know I can go even further.”
August is Women’s Month, but for InnoVent, diversity and gender equality are not 30 days dedicated to recognising the work of women, but an integral part of the company’s philosophy and growth strategy.