Finweek English Edition - - TOP WOMEN -


INI­TIA­TIVE OF SA) In her 23-year ca­reer, David­son has worked in re­tail and con­sul­tancy, held man­age­ment roles in cor­po­rates, did a stint in pol­i­tics and started her own busi­ness. In 2003, she founded Mel­sta Busi­ness So­lu­tions, which pro­vided data and com­mu­nity-based mar­ket­ing strate­gies to fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pa­nies in or­der to trace mem­bers of pen­sion and prov­i­dent funds. Her in­ter­est in em­pow­er­ing the pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged saw her volunteering for com­mu­nity-based or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Na­tional In­sti­tute for Crime Preven­tion and the Rein­te­gra­tion of Of­fend­ers (Ni­cro), the Cape Flats De­vel­op­men­tal As­so­ci­a­tion (Cafda), and Triple Trust Or­gan­i­sa­tion. In 2012 she joined Redisa, where she fo­cuses on de­vel­op­ing en­trepreneurs and SMMEs, and over­sees the de­vel­op­ment of a new tyre-re­cy­cling in­dus­try. I started my first busi­ness ven­ture when I was 19, selling ro­tis and cook­ies. It took me some time to re­alise that busi­ness is ac­tu­ally about peo­ple. You and me. I got my ca­reer break at the age of 32 when I se­cured a con­tract with Old Mu­tual. The op­por­tu­nity made me shake in my boots be­cause I had to de­liver a pre­sen­ta­tion to ac­tu­ar­ies, con­sul­tants and char­tered ac­coun­tants. But by pre­sent­ing the fi­nan­cial model sim­ply, I got the job. The area I strug­gled with was mak­ing de­ci­sions that im­pact peo­ple and their em­ploy­ment. I found that pe­ri­ods of restruc­tur­ing and high change were dif­fi­cult, be­cause you have to keep peo­ple and their ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions in mind. In ev­ery ca­reer, you do make mis­takes. I made mis­takes but I have learnt that you can grow from them, be re­silient and up your game. Get an ex­pe­ri­enced men­tor in your field who will ad­vise you, act as your spokesper­son and en­dorse you when op­por­tu­ni­ties in the or­gan­i­sa­tion arise. Be fo­cused on what you want to achieve. Hav­ing goals will help you make ca­reer de­ci­sions eas­ier. There are many op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor.

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