While women have made great strides to achieve success in society, there is still further to go. With Carol Bouwer championing the cause, the movement is sure to reach new heights.
The business-owner, presenter and producer established the Mbokodo Awards in 2012, taking the platform to the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2017 to advance the international dialogue on gender-based violence.
Her other passion is advancing children and campaigning for their rights at a global level. In February 2018, she was named as a Special Advocate for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) South Africa’s Influential Women’s Forum. In this role, Bouwer has facilitated a series of high-level engagements between UNICEF South Africa and influential government leaders, private sector executives and high net-worth individuals and has hosted events to advance the child agenda in the country.
As a judge for the 2018 Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss Awards, she is once again in her element, investing in seeking out and supporting women:
What advice do you have for women entrepreneurs to prioritise time to relax to destress?
Finding moments away to nourish your soul is a regime that is critical for the success of your dream!
Time management has proven to be the ultimate challenge with business owners. I would say create a regime that values self-care that is equal to the care we give our employees, businesses and clients! If you can afford it, escape through travel and if you’re cannot afford it, I learnt early on that books, massages, and facials can sometimes be the ultimate indulgence for a weary mind!
Never underestimate the value of a brisk walk to revitalise the mind as well as your soul.
Before the next generation of female leaders reach their peak, can you provide one life lesson that would benefit them throughout their careers?
I firmly believe in looking inward for that propelling motivation that will lead to a path that is best for you as an individual! The great lesson would be to be as present and attentive when you are in company, as you are in moments of solitude. Every integral step towards finding your true calling is already ingrained in your DNA ,so the less of the external you let in and the more in-tune you are with your truest self, the more crystal your path shall be. Listen to yourself- value the silent moments.
As a successful businesswoman, do you feel that it is necessary to keep learning, expanding your knowledge parameters and bettering yourself? Tell us why.
Life is a constant evolution of ideas which require us to remain curious about how to stay relevant and useful in a world that is also ever evolving! If we are not using the tools available to us, then room exists for our irrelevance. Understand, though, at all times that your path is yours alone and your journey is unique! And if, like me, you don’t measure success materially, be bold in defending the state you view as success. We must seek abundance but never as defined externally which is often the case!
Can you share a few tips for empowering female entrepreneurs who are looking to rebuild a business that may have failed in the past?
Each entrepreneur goes through a different journey, so firstly I would advise against seeking a blanket entrepreneurial solution but would advocate for self-awareness and being able to take ownership for the failures experienced in building one’s business. Paramount is also to remember that often times our failures are the very foundation we need to return with a solid and unbreakable business. Failure forces you to analyse where things have not gone as you wished and that translates to critical engagement that brings resilience and an astute attitude that may have lacked previously when one felt invincible in business. The “come back” is often sweeter that any success attained before! Fail! Learn! Grow smarter!
How do you think women can be represented more fairly in the media and production industry?
I would say start with what you can control. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram give us the ability to correct the inaccuracies that have led to distortions on the female narrative! Use it... never leave the lie untested! Secondly, the ownership of media needs to be increasingly more representative of the buying demographic - you can’t have beauty and business mentorship magazines selling mostly to women and being owned and run by those who don’t consume what is contained in those titles!
From a television perspective women need to continue to ascend the ladder and become content aggregators rather than mere disseminators. While we may continue to host, we must create the content, we must produce en-masse and we must edit. In a nutshell, our involvement at all decision making levels will help address the still predominant crisis! Allow me lastly to add that we lament a lack of platforms for us to create this content but if you look at Netflix then you realise a new model is emerging so a barrier to entry has already been removed.