KPMG’s Ms Fixit can pull it off – if given space to do so

CityPress - - Business - FIDEL HADEBE busi­ness@city­press.co.za Hadebe is an in­de­pen­dent ad­viser spe­cial­is­ing in com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pub­lic pol­icy

The story of the suf­fer­ing of black women in cor­po­rate South Africa has be­come a daily diet to which many of us have grown ac­cus­tomed. Your ar­ti­cle on KPMG’s chief ex­ec­u­tive and her abil­ity to turn around the for­tunes of this multi­na­tional com­pany re­veals the ex­tent to which black women in cor­po­rate South Africa still have to prove their worth as lead­ers in their own right.

As a black South African my­self, I fail to un­der­stand why KPMG thought it was nec­es­sary to send a team from abroad to sit with Nh­la­mulo Dlomu in con­duct­ing a ba­sic me­dia in­ter­view (with City Press) on what her fu­ture plans are for this com­pany.

Dlomu is an ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness leader in her own right who should be given the space to de­liver on things she was ap­pointed to de­liver on which, in my view, in­clude en­sur­ing that KPMG sur­vives and con­tin­ues to be an im­por­tant player in cor­po­rate South Africa.

That she had to be joined in the in­ter­view by a crew from abroad tells a story of how black fe­male busi­ness lead­ers con­tinue to be un­der­mined and sub­jected to hu­mil­i­a­tion.

If anything, KPMG should give Dlomu the space to do her work to the best of her abil­i­ties and not be sub­jected to this kind of non­sense.

I do not know her per­son­ally, but I want to be­lieve that she is an ac­com­plished busi­ness leader in her own right and she does not need any baby-sit­ting.

With the mess that KPMG is in at the mo­ment, I think it is only ap­pro­pri­ate that Dlomu is given the nec­es­sary space to do what she thinks needs to be done and save the busi­ness where she can.

The fact that she is not a char­tered ac­coun­tant should not be an ob­sta­cle.

All that needs to hap­pen is for her bosses abroad to ac­cord her the space to work, re­spect her as a leader in her own right and pro­vide her with the nec­es­sary sup­port.

There are many meet­ings which she is go­ing to have in her ten­ure as chief ex­ec­u­tive and I am sure she does not need an army of peo­ple from abroad to baby-sit her.

Racism and pa­tri­archy in so­ci­ety and in cor­po­rate South Africa need to come to a stop at some point. The sooner we get this right, the bet­ter.

Our board­rooms can be­come de­cent spa­ces for black women to re­alise their full po­ten­tial.

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