It is time for women to stake their rightful claim in the workplace, to lead like a CEO regardless of their title and to ‘be their own brand’ – one that exemplifies integrity, strength, passion and hard work.
This is a core message communicated at the 8th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference hosted recently at the Hyatt Regency in Johannesburg.
Teryl Schroenn, CEO of Accsys, formed part of a panel of successful professional South Africans who discussed issues that impact on the careers of women and their contribution to the workplace.
Schroenn was selected to be a part of the panel because of the success of her tenure as CEO of Accsys.
The company is a national supplier of people management software and hardware solutions within the HR, payroll and time & attendance space, and a member of the Business Connexion Group (BCX).
Since her appointment, Teryl has focused on creating a company that is profitable and increasingly relevant to the South African and African business market.
Under her leadership, Accsys has won several awards including the 2012 Top Technology 100 (TT100) Award for Excellence in the Management of People, as well as the TT100 Award for Excellence in Sustainable Performance, which it has won three years consecutively. It has also received the Topco Media Top Gender Empowered Companies: Business, Education & Training Award in 2012.
Teryl has also received industry-wide recognition, including being extensively quoted in the media and taking part in numerous roundtable discussions and interviews. In 2006 she received the BusinessWomen’s Association (BWA) Gauteng Regional Business Woman of the Year Award. In addition to having led the BWA mentoring committee for two years, a significant portion of her limited time is devoted to her participation in no less than three external mentorship programs.
At the Leadership Conference she was asked about the typical challenges that are faced by women in business and what advice she had for women who need encouragement or who have yet to receive recognition for their contribution.
In response she said that women need to have confidence in their ability to deliver, and ensure that their aspirations and skills are known in the environment. It is also important that the incumbent management look out for the women who work hard, who manage teams well and get the job done!
When asked about the difference between the genders at board level, she responded “Women bring different things to the table than men and there is current research that shows that a board that combines both genders is more effective. The bottom line for any business is to make a profit and, at the end of the day, the job has to be done, no matter who is in charge. ” she says.
“The fact that 18 of the Fortune 500 companies are run by women suggests that there is a need for women to create and reinforce the right type of environment conducive to C-level behaviour and success,” she adds.