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Q&A with Yvette Rautenbach, Development Economist/Statistical Programming and Policy Specialist, Afr

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Yvette Rautenbach, Chief Executive Officer/Recruiter/Headhunter @ AdoGreen Africa

My career path in a few words:

It has been an extremely exciting and daunting learning curve with many highs and many lows. If you have tenacity and determination coupled with support from others, chances are that you will eventually succeed. It has been challenging, unpredictable as well as rewarding. Recruitment is always evolving and so is one’s understanding of people and the psychology behind people’s actions and decisions.

What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?

I cannot say that there has been one most challenging experience but a combination of many different experiences that have moulded my view of people and the industry I work in. People are not products, but are all unique with individual needs, different work ethics, values and motives. It has been learning to work with all these variables and unpredictable circumstances and people’s behavioural patterns, while still staying true to one's self never compromising on service delivery and honesty no matter what the situation is.

When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain context, what do you think?

In being someone with a deep faith in God, the unpredictable surprises and disappointments tend to be short lived. Whenever in doubt, I ask for council. Be it with God, a family member, a friend or whoever has specific knowledge on the subject matter, I like to get advice. I like asking questions even at the expense of looking silly. In being surprised by being let down by someone I would never have thought to happen, is again to realise that the human element is unpredictable. We as people are all fallible and can be weak at times, and so to accept that there are no guarantees in life but have faith and make the most of every situation. Not to be resentful, but to move on quickly with alternative solutions, or simply starting again and getting one's self re-envisioned and self-motivated.

What’s the key success factor for a female entrepreneur in cross cultural context based on your experience?

Many people think that woman need to be like men – tough, confident and invincible to succeed where they need to put on this hard and confident exterior. Men and women are very different from each other, and I feel that women need to realise that they do not have to compete like men as women have their own strengths. My experience is that one must stay true to oneself, operate with integrity and honesty, and professionalism at all times. Diversity is interesting and working with various cultures is intriguing. Irrespective of your personality, background and beliefs, people are drawn to those who are open and honest, can be themselves and are accepting of others who are different to oneself. This encourages conversation and an opportunity to build rapport and be genuine.

Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader / manager?

Communication and empathy is key to leading others. Having empathy does not make one a walk-over, however one must be careful not to cross the line of a business and personal relationship otherwise one will find themselves being treated like a peer/buddy where an employee will be unable to accept criticism or discipline when it comes to that. There must be a clear distinction between an employer and employee, but never compromising on respect for each other. When people know you have their best interests at heart with your insights valued, people will still come to you even if not having a close relationship with you outside of a business context.

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